Advancements in assistive image analytics and deep learning technology could in the future help doctors in the fight against preventable blindness.


The Melbourne based IBM researchers have trained a research version of Watson (their latest computing system) to recognise abnormalities in retina images. According to the researchers, this could be developed to offer doctors greater insights and speed in identifying patients who may be at risk of eye diseases, such as glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the developed world.


“It is estimated that at least 150,000 Australians have undiagnosed glaucoma, with numbers expected to rise due to our rapidly aging population. It is critical that every Australian has access to regular eye examinations throughout their life so that diseases like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy can be detected and treated as early as possible,” said Dr Peter van Wijngaarden, Principal Investigator at Centre for Eye Research Australia, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Melbourne.

Check out this video to see how IBM Watson works.