Working in close partnership with Moorfields, we have developed AI technology which we hope could improve the way eye diseases are diagnosed and treated and could ultimately help the millions of people across the globe affected by preventable or curable sight loss.
PROBLEM(S) TO SOLVE
Two million people in the UK live with sight loss that could have been prevented through earlier diagnosis and modern treatments. Currently, eyecare professionals use optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans to help diagnose eye conditions. These 3D images provide a detailed map of the back of the eye, but they are hard to read and need expert analysis to interpret. The time it takes to analyse these scans, combined with the sheer number of scans that healthcare professionals have to go through (over 1,000 a day at Moorfields alone), can lead to lengthy delays between scan and treatment – even when someone needs urgent care. If they develop a sudden problem, such as a bleed at the back of the eye, these delays could even cost patients their sight.
Availability / Regulatory status
In our work, we have developed a machine learning system triaging eye diseases based on an analysis of retinal OCT scans taken from routine care in a clinical setting, with very promising results that we hope to share soon. While we’re really proud of our work, it’s still early days and this initial research would need to be turned into a product that would need to go through rigorous clinicals trials and a strict approval process by regulators before it could be used.
Evidence to date
Impact to User
Impact for healthcare system
The AI technology we are developing is designed to be a tool for doctors, opthamologists and other eye care professionals to help them prioritise the patients in most urgent need of treatment, and free up their time to concentrate on what matters most – treating patients. Final responsibility for diagnosis and treatment will always rest with expert clinicians.
In the long term, we hope that this technology will speed up the time between diagnosis and treatment, free up clinician time and even save eyesight.
Overall value assessment
While we’re incredibly proud of this progress, this initial research needs to be turned into a product and then undergo rigorous clinical trials and regulatory approval before being used in practice.