Thursday, May 13, 2010

Computers can effectively detect diabetes-related eye problems

People with diabetes have an increased risk of blindness, yet nearly half of the approximately 23 million Americans with diabetes do not get an annual eye exam to detect possible problems.

But it appears that cost-effective computerized systems to detect early eye problems related to diabetes can help meet the screening need, University of Iowa analysis shows.

The UI team compared the ability of two sets of computer programs to detect possible eye problems in 16,670 people with diabetes. Each of the two programs (known as EyeCheck and Challenge 2009) are based on technology developed at the UI and performed equally well, achieving the maximum accuracy theoretically expected. The study was published online April 16 by the journal Ophthalmology.

The systems require a trained technician to use a digital camera to take pictures of the retina, located inside the eye. The images are then transferred electronically to computers, which can automatically detect the small hemorrhages (internal bleeding) and signs of fluid that are hallmarks of diabetes damage.

"It is an important question: whether a computer can substitute for a human to detect the initial signs of diabetic eye disease," said Michael Abràmoff, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and an ophthalmologist with UI Hospitals and Clinics.


Source and More:
http://www.physorg.com/news192947785.html

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