Google, Verily develop AI algorithm to detect diabetic eye disease from imaging exams

Google and its sister company Verily announced on Monday, Feb. 25, the development of an AI-based algorithm that can screen eye imaging exams for diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema—two of the leading causes of preventable blindness in adults with diabetes, according to a recent report by CNBC.  

The machine learning algorithm is currently being used in Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India, which according to CNBC has a national shortage of more than 100,000 eye doctors and an epidemic of diabetic retinopathy.  

“In a blog post, Verily product manager Sunny Virmani and Google program manager Kasumi Widner said the algorithms performed on par with both eye doctors and retinal specialists in detecting the disease in medical imaging,” according to the article. “The companies, which are both part of parent company Alphabet, now have approval from European regulators to use the technology in the real world to screen for these common forms of diabetic eye disease.”  

The team from Google and Verily are hoping to expand their efforts to clinics throughout India and may soon be introduced to clinics in Thailand and other countries with staffing shortages.  

Read CNBC’s entire article below.