Artificial Intelligence for Eye Care Industry: Analysis of Medical Images

Artificial intelligence( AI) is becoming a popular tool for the analysis of medical images, such as MRI, CT, OCT, photos from labs, etc. Today it is possible to double-check the analysis of any medical image: first, a medical specialist analyses it on the absence/presence of pathologies and pathological signs, and then AI checks if the diagnosis is truly correct. Sometimes AI can “see” what a medical professional couldn’t see, and sometimes AI can provide a second opinion regarding complex, controversial medical images. In any case, the combination of the knowledge of the medical specialist and artificial intelligence can be revolutionary for the whole medicine, and eye care industry in particular.

The eye care industry is one of the spheres where medical images play a crucial role in diagnostics. It is impossible to set a diagnosis without a thorough analysis of retina images. However, even experienced eye care specialists sometimes come across complex, controversial retina images that they can’t interpret. That is where AI comes to the rescue. There are artificial intelligence tools for OCT retina scans, the most popular medical images in the eye care industry.

AI for OCT scan interpretation provides eye care specialists with definite benefits:

  • Fast differentiation between pathological and non-pathological OCT scans. During an eye examination, an eye care specialist generates hundreds of retina scans in order to choose which of them are pathological and which are not. With the help of AI, it is possible to differentiate between pathological and non-pathological OCT scan much faster and with less possibility of an error.
  • With the help of artificial intelligence, it is easy to detect minor, early, and rare retina pathologies with high probability. For any eye care specialist, there is always a chance to miss some rare pathology that he/she didn’t come across before. If an eye care professional works in cooperation with an artificial intelligence tool, the chances of missing some pathology or a pathological sign are equal to zero. AI for OCT scan interpretation for an eye care professionals is like a life vest during the storm: you might not need it, but it’s still better to wear it.
  • Second opinion when working with complex OCT scans. It is not a secret that eye care professionals sometimes come across complex OCT scans that they are not able to interpret straight ahead. They often consult their colleagues or post the OCT case online to get a second opinion.  Artificial intelligence can be that second opinion for eye care specialists: it will detect the pathology or a pathological sign right at the spot.

All in all, the utilization of AI in optometry and ophthalmology ( eye care industry in total) results in multiple benefits for eye care professionals and patients. Ophthalmologists and optometrists get the decision-making support tool for complex situations and automate repetitive operations. As a result, eye care specialists have to spend less time on the tasks that can be done by digital tools.  That is how eye care specialists can dedicate their precious time to patients. After all, AI will never be able to emphasize with patients.