Australian scientists have developed an artificial intelligence-driven technology that could make it easier to prevent blindness in the 1.7 million Australians with diabetes.
Patients usually wait up to six weeks for a specialist to screen them for diabetic eye disease. But with this new CSIRO-developed eye-screening technology, patients can be screened by their regular doctor instead, then referred to a specialist for treatment if needed.
The Perth trial found GPs using the technology could detect the eye condition as effectively as a specialist.
The eye-screening technology, developed by CSIRO, enables GPs to test diabetic patients for diabetic retinopathy – a condition affecting one in three diabetic people that can lead to blindness if untreated.
The Minister for Industry Innovation and Science Arthur Sinodinos said the technology could help change lives for the better.
“This advancement is a great example of the essential role science plays in finding innovative ways to help Australians live longer and happier lives,” Minister Sinodinos said.
“With this world-first innovation, our scientists are at the forefront of using artificially intelligent technology to save people’s eyesight and make healthcare more accessible for all Australians.”
The technology’s creator and trial co-lead, CSIRO’s Professor Yogi Kanagasingam, said the innovation could help people with diabetic retinopathy receive treatment faster.
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