The Centre for Eye Health (CFEH), the Universities of New South Wales and Adelaide, Menicon and the Brien Holden Vision Institute have partnered with Big Picture Medical (BPM) on a collaborative Cooperative Research Centre (CRC-P) project.
CRC-P grants, which are funded by the federal government, support short term industry-led collaborations to develop important new technologies, products and services that deliver tangible outcomes to the community.
The technology to be developed by the collaboration will combine an optometrist’s expertise with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that analyse comprehensive patient eye health data to achieve specialist-level accuracy to better diagnose and manage eye disease. The aim is to reduce the number of specialist consults and save considerable avoidable costs within the Australian Health system.
The Role of AI
Researchers and industry peak bodies, including the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) and Optometry Australia (OA), have identified that AI can improve the accuracy of diagnosis and lead to better patient outcomes.
Professor Michael Kalloniatis, Director of CFEH, says “AI algorithms can provide guidance to the clinicians particularly in early diagnosis of eye disease, thereby reducing the significant false positive referrals to public hospital eye departments and also help detect disease early before irreversible vision loss occurs”.
Grant Accelerates Outcomes
BPM has developed a technology platform that combines advanced AI data analytics and decision support algorithms to deliver improved and more accessible patient outcomes.
The CRC-P will incorporate unique intellectual property (IP) from UNSW’s Schools of Optometry and Vision Science and Computing Engineering, the CFEH and the Australian Institute of Machine Learning at the University of Adelaide into BPM’s platform.
Dr Tom McKinnon, BPM Founder and CEO, said “We thank the Australian Government for this grant. Our mantra is to facilitate the improvement and accessibility of healthcare for all. AI has the opportunity to play an important role in delivering that aspiration.
“We have built the software platform that enables AI developers and health companies from all over the world to apply their applications to deliver improved and more accessible patient outcomes. This grant will help accelerate that process for the benefit of patients everywhere.”