Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a vision-threatening complication of diabetes. Timely diagnosis and intervention are essential for treatment that reduces the risk of vision loss. A good color retinal (fundus) photograph can be used as a surrogate for face-to-face evaluation of DR. The use of computers to assist or fully automate DR evaluation from retinal images has been studied for many years. Early work showed promising results for algorithms in detecting and classifying DR pathology. Newer techniques include those that adapt machine learning technology to DR image analysis. Challenges remain, however, that must be overcome before fully automatic DR detection and analysis systems become practical clinical tools.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There will be an estimated 552 million persons with diabetes globally by the year 2030. Over half of these individuals will develop diabetic retinopathy, representing a nearly insurmountable burden for providing diabetes eye care. Telemedicine programmes have the capability to distribute quality eye care to virtually any location and address the lack of access to ophthalmic services. In most programmes, there is currently a heavy reliance on specially trained retinal image graders, a resource in short supply worldwide. These factors necessitate an image grading automation process to increase the speed of retinal image evaluation while maintaining accuracy and cost effectiveness. Several automatic retinal image analysis systems designed for use in telemedicine have recently become commercially available. Such systems have the potential to substantially improve the manner by which diabetes eye care is delivered by providing automated real-time evaluation to expedite diagnosis and referral if required. Furthermore, integration with electronic medical records may allow a more accurate prognostication for individual patients and may provide predictive modelling of medical risk factors based on broad population data.
Current Diabetes Reports 03/2015; 15(3):577. DOI:10.1007/s11892-015-0577-6 · 3.08 Impact Factor
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