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Optometrists back Aussie-developed AI system

Australian optometrists are reporting positive results with a homegrown clinical decision support tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse retinal images for features of the major blinding eye diseases.

The Eyetelligence Assure, which obtained Therapeutic Goods Administration approval last year, is new revolutionary software that helps clinicians screen, grade and make decisions for the management of glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy (DR) and wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The technology is being commercialised by its namesake company and has partnerships with Centre for Eye Research Australia, Harvard Medical School and Monash University.

The technology analyses fundus images and assists clinicians on critical management decisions by identifying glaucoma risk, grading DR and detecting late-wet AMD. It can help eyecare professionals decide when a patient requires further examination and investigation, or when and to whom optometrists should refer patients.

The company stated its software has been launched to high praise among optometrists, including Mr Dirk den Dulk from Albion Park, NSW, who has been in the industry for 42 years. He believes it’s time diagnostic support was introduced for retinal image equipment.

An example of a glaucoma positive results by the Eyetelligence Assure for each eye.

“It’s sensational, so easy to use with instantaneous results,” he said. “We have used it on most of our patients, we are a high pathology clinic and it’s great to have this added support.”

Ms Stephanie Park, with a practice in Keysbourough Victoria added: “It draws my attention to where it is needed most, so we can provide the best in patient care.”

Eyetelligence Assure has two in-built reports to support clinical recommendations, both complete with a practice logo.

The clinical or ‘fundus grading report‘ displays results with descriptions, along with a confidence level (where a high percentage means a higher confidence of a correct grading).

If diabetic retinopathy is present, it will provide a grade according to features identified, using the International Council of Ophthalmology Guidelines for Diabetic Eye Care (2017).

The company says the patient report promotes greater loyalty and provides a value-add take-home report they can share with their family. The report supports recommendations and reminds the patient of follow-up appointments.

Eyetelligence Assure has regulatory approvals in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the UK. The technology is available via a 30-day free trial. Visit eyetelligence.com.au for more information.

Editors note: Keep an eye out for an in-depth interview with the Professor Ming He, the clinical expert behind Eyetelligence Assure, in the June issue of Insight. 

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