US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved IDx-DR AI; an artificial intelligence diagnostic device that doesn’t need a specialized doctor to interpret the results and can detect a form of eye disease by looking at photos of the retina.

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FDA Approved IDx-DR AI

IDx-DR is part of a growing trend of algorithms learning how to spot and diagnose disease. The best or say the unique part of this AI is, it is autonomous i.e there is no specialist looking over the system, which means it makes the clinical decision on its own, which again means that this technology can be used by a nurse or doctor who’s not an eye specialist.

IDx-DR AI

In one clinical trial, this IDx-DR AI system was given more than 900 images and this system has correctly detected retinopathy about 87 percent of the time, moreover, it could correctly identify those who didn’t have the disease about 90 percent of the time, which is appreciative in the field of artificial intelligence.

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How Does IDx-DR AI Work?

So, a nurse or doctor uploads photos of the patient’s retina take with a special retinal camera. Then, there are a series of test the IDx-DR AI system and here it goes;

  • It examines whether the image uploaded is of high-quality enough to get a result.
  • Later, it analyzes the images to determine whether the patient does or does not have diabetic retinopathy (a case where too much blood sugar damages the blood vessels in the back of the eye).

For your info; Diabetic retinopathy is the most common vision complication people with diabetes, but is still fairly rare — there are about 200,00 cases per year.

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Scientists are pushing AI to detect diseases and even companies like Google is training its DeepMind AI to spot eye disease. Now that the FDA has cleared IDx-DR, it might lead the way to a new slew of autonomous diagnostic tests and the trade-offs they bring.

What do you think about IDx-DR AI? Does our future is backed by AI’s to detect diseases? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


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