Artificial Intelligence Helps India Win Against Diabetic Retinopathy

Did you know that the crude prevalence rate(CPR) of diabetes is 9 per cent in the urban areas and 3 per cent in the rural areas of India? That might sound like a pretty small number, but if we convert it to actual numbers, it approximates at 40 million. Now it doesn’t sound so small and trivial, does it? To be more clear, our country is currently topping the charts with the highest number of diabetics. Well, today we are not here to discuss how to prevent this from going further as the damage can only be undone with a drastic change in our lifestyle. What this article is about is the most dreaded symptom of diabetes, Diabetic Retinopathy, and how artificial intelligence has waged a war against this disease. Ai Subsides Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition of vision loss that is caused due to complications in a diabetic patient. This condition is majorly affecting the diabetic Indian population due to the unavailability of eye specialists as a consequence of which this syndrome is going undiagnosed in almost 45 per cent of the affected bunch. This is where artificial intelligence comes into the picture and the organization responsible for making a contribution towards the cause is Google. Google has taken up an initiative of providing the Indian community with a set of processing models that help in diagnosing this syndrome. Firstly, retina scans are analysed by sending them through an artificial intelligence model that can detect diabetic retinopathy. Later, the same are sent through a machine learning model that ranks these scans on a five-point scale on the basis of the severity of the condition. A similar model, IRIS (Intelligent Retinal Imaging System), is being tested by a business organization in the USA in collaboration with a few researchers from Ireland. IRIS initially had an accuracy of 85 per cent which later amped up after a series of tests and upgrades to 97 percent accuracy. Do you know what the average accuracy level of an ophthalmologist? 92 per cent! Looks like machines have begun to take over humans. Coming back to the main topic of discussion, Major tech companies are currently working with Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai and Sankara Eye Hospital in Chennai to roll out this initiative. With both of these hospitals having over 70 satellite clinics spread across the country, these ai models are solving the complications for patients from all around. How this works is the retina scans of the patients are uploaded on the cloud which in turn are analyzed using artificial intelligence models present at the respective primary centers of operation. Through these initiatives, these companies are helping India curb a major problem faced by the diabetics of our country and protecting them from blinding adversities. With Artificial Intelligence Experts working towards social and societal wellness, the common belief that ai is harmful for our future is slowly vanishing among communities. More and more innovations are taking form for causes such as climate change, national defence and disease reduction. This proves that in the journey of technological development, we are heading in the right direction.