City gets AI boost for the detection for glaucoma
Artificial intelligence technology has been introduced to Shanghai's glaucoma screening at the grassroots level to improve efficiency and enhance chronic disease management, local health authorities revealed during World Glaucoma Week, which began on Sunday.
There are 21.8 million people suffering glaucoma in China, which is one fourth of the world's total. China has become the country with the largest quantity of glaucoma patients in the world with 6 million people blind due to glaucoma.
The public's low awareness as well as poor patient compliance result in a poor glaucoma prevention and management. Early screening and proper intervention are key to reduce blindness.
Led by Shanghai Health Commission and Shanghai Eye Disease Prevention and Treatment Center, the city started a trial of community-based glaucoma patient management and intervention early last year. It is looking for a new glaucoma management format led by general physicians.
The medical equipment has been installed in neighborhood health centers for eye checks. Since general physicians don't have the capability for glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, the authority introduced an AI system to carry out the primary evaluation. Those detected with a risk by AI will be transferred to leading hospitals.
So far, the trial has been promoted citywide, and all neighborhood health centers have been installed with glaucoma screening machines.
"The method can greatly reduce manpower and enhance the efficiency of classified treatment systems as well as allowing more patients to be diagnosed and treated earlier," said Lu Lina, vice president of Shanghai Eye Disease Prevention and Treatment Center.
"We also want to find a better community-based glaucoma management mechanism through the program to reduce the prevalence of vision damage and blindness caused by glaucoma."