Google’s DeepMind is initiating a new research project to aid doctors spot the early signs of sight-threatening diseases.
The team uses machine learning to analyze more than a million eye scans and thereby creating algorithms that can detect early symptoms that humans might miss. The research project is DeepMind’s second collaboration with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
DeepMind is particularly programming to detect wet age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Retinopathy is the fastest growing cause that leads to full blindness.
DeepMind’s machine learning skills can be used to analyze eye scans known as Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) images. The OCT data delivered by Moorfields Eye Hospital will be kept confidential.
The project faced a lot of controversies initially as it gave DeepMind access to up to the full care account of about 1.6 million patients. But Google claimed that it is not possible to identify any individual from the obtained data. The Streams app is being tested still and is anticipated to alert doctors when patients are at risk of kidney failure.