High-tech solutions top the list in the fight against eye disease
Cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, oh my!
by: Andrew Tarantola
“The eyes are the window to the soul,” the adage goes, but these days our eyes could be better compared to our ethernet(internet) connection to the world. According to a 2006 study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, the human retina is capable of transmitting 10 million bits of information per second. But for as potent as our visual capabilities are, there’s a whole lot that can go wrong with the human eye. Cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are three of the leading causes of blindness the world over. Though we may not have robotic ocular prosthesis just yet, a number of recent ophthalmological advancements will help keep the blinds over those windows from being lowered.
Cataracts are the single leading cause of blindness worldwide, afflicting roughly 42 percent of the global population, including more than 22 million Americans. The disease, which causes cloudy patches to form on the eye’s normally clear lens, can require surgery if left untreated. That’s why Google’s DeepMind AI division has teamed with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and Moorfields Eye Hospital to train a neural network that will help doctors diagnose early stage cataracts.
The neural network is being trained on a million anonymized optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans (think of a sonogram, but using light instead of sound waves) in the hopes it will eventually be able to supplement human doctors’ analyses, increasing both the efficiency and accuracy of individual diagnoses.
“OCT has totally revolutionized the field of ophthalmology. It’s an imaging system for translucent structures that utilizes coherent light,” Dr. Julie Schallhorn, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at UC San Francisco, said. “It was first described in 1998 and it gives near-cell resolution of the cornea, retina and optic nerve….
Read more & watch videos: https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/12/high-tech-solutions-in-the-fight-against-eye-disease/