New applications of AI in the form of deep learning are helping healthcare practitioners detect diabetic retinopathy (DR) earlier and more accurately. DR is a serious eye disease associated with long-standing diabetes that results in progressive damage to the retina, eventually leading to blindness. However, if DR is detected early on, vision impairment can be prevented with laser treatments.
Some diabetes and DR facts:
Worldwide, 425 million adults (1 in 11) have diabetes; half the cases are undiagnosed. This number is expected to reach 642 million by 2040.
Of U.S. citizens, 30.3 million, or nearly one in ten, have diabetes and 84.1 million adults, approximately one in three, have prediabetes.
Approximately 16 million people will be affected by diabetic retinopathy by 2050.
Of all visual impairment caused by DR, 80% can be cured with regular screening and early detection. Major vision loss due to DR is preventable with timely remedial intervention like eye exams (including visual acuity testing, tonometry and pupil dilation) and regular screening at the earlier stages by using a DR diagnostic and grading screening tool.