An app for early diagnosis of eye diseases in diabetics

The affection of the retina vessels is one of the early complications of diabetes mellitus and the leading cause of blindness in able-bodied people. At the same time, if diabetic retinopathy is detected in time, it is possible to stop the progression of the complication and prevent loss of vision. Scientists from the University of Bonn (Germany) have developed an app for a smartphone that allows to detect lesions at the earliest stages. 

Diabetic retinopathy is a lesion of small vessels of the retina, which develops due to lack of nutrients and oxygen in diabetes, in addition, a high concentration of glucose in the blood is toxic to the walls of the vessels. In the early stages of the development of complications, there are no symptoms, and visual impairment indicates a neglected and often irreversible process. In order to detect diabetic retinopathy in time, diabetics should be examined regularly by an ophthalmologist, but in many countries, there is a lack of medical resources. In addition, diabetes mellitus may occur asymptomatically for a long time, making people unaware of the need for screening. 

In order to facilitate the detection of diabetic retinopathy, German scientists have developed a diagnostic app. An image of the retina can be obtained using a conventional camera built into a smartphone. However, the best result was achieved when an adapter with an additional lens was used, which was attached to the phone. With this approach, the accuracy of early detection of violations was 80%, and the presence of more significant damage the app could detect in 100% of cases. 

To decipher the results obtained you need a specialist - they do not need to be an ophthalmologist, after preparation the diagnosis is easily carried out by mid-level specialists. It is important that the detection of violations takes only 2 minutes, which is much less than the duration of the examination of patients using conventional methods. However, in the near future, no help from a specialist in interpreting the results will be needed: German experts teach artificial intelligence to instantly recognize the slightest abnormalities in the smartphone image. 

May 27, 2020, 12:07 p.m.

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