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Tuesday / May 21.
HomeminewsAI for Early Detection of AMD

AI for Early Detection of AMD

An innovative new European Union research project called I-SCREEN will help with early detection of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of severe vision loss in individuals aged 55.

The I-SCREEN project will pioneer an AI-based programme to identify and monitor age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at its earliest stages.

The I-SCREEN project is… leveraging AI and cloud technology together with imaging devices and expertise within optometry to make early AMD detection and treatment accessible to citizens from their local high street

Using the precision of AI, the project aims to revolutionise AMD care by introducing a unique AI-powered platform compatible with optical coherence tomography (OCT) scanners found in high-street optometry practices. This approach will empower primary care optometrists to diagnosis AMD earlier and facilitate more timely treatment by efficient referral to secondary care.

Bringing together twelve partnering institutions from across Europe, including Queen’s University Belfast, I-SCREEN will receive more than EUR 4.7 million from the European Innovation Council’s (EIC) Pathfinder programme over the next four years.

Leading the project in Belfast is Dr Ruth Hogg from the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast. Dr Hogg, along with researchers from Northern Ireland Clinical Research facility, will recruit a cohort of patients with intermediate AMD to follow for two years to identify the earliest stage of transition to late AMD which will help refine the AI models that could be used in the community.

Commenting on the importance of this research project, Dr Ruth Hogg said: “AMD poses a significant healthcare challenge, often slipping under the radar until severe vision loss occurs. The I-SCREEN project is dedicated to addressing this silent threat, leveraging AI and cloud technology together with imaging devices and expertise within optometry to make early AMD detection and treatment accessible to citizens from their local high street.”

I-SCREEN coordinator Professor Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth from Medizinische Universität Wien highlighted the key objective of the project, “In AMD, as a population-wide burden, early detection resulting in timely treatment and a wide access to care is paramount. It is our responsibility in healthcare to combine forces in respect to human expertise and technology to provide life-long vision for the entire society.”

The I-SCREEN project is made possible through the collaboration of a multidisciplinary consortium. This consortium brings together a network of clinical retina experts, computer scientists working at the cutting edge of AI development, an infrastructure of community-based opticians/optometrists, and business specialists experienced in clinical decision support systems for ophthalmology.