Google DeepMind has teamed up withMoorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation in London to launch an AI-focused research project to detect eye diseases. As part of the research project, DeepMind will investigate whether machine learning algorithms can identify early signs of 2 age-related eye conditions: macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. The partnership marks DeepMind’s second research collaboration with NHS.
Research Project Details
Moorfields Eye Hospital will share a set of one million digital eye scans known as Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and some related anonymous information about eye condition and disease management for the research project that has been collected over time through routine care. It is important to note these scans are historical encrypted scans, so employees and Google cannot use the data for commercial purposes.
Together, both age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects more than 600,000 people in the UK and is the leading cause of vision loss. Two million people are living with sight loss in the UK, of whom around 360,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted.
The research project hopes machine learning could help analyse these scans efficiently and effectively, leading to earlier detection and intervention for patients and reducing the number of cases of patient deterioration.
Results, algorithms, and methodologies from the partnership will be later published in peer-reviewed journals.
Earlier this year, Google DeepMind announced its first collaboration with Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust to create an app called Streams that focuses on helping clinicians detect acute kidney injury (AKI) in patients. The partnership lead to privacy concerns with Google as critics attacked the NHS decision to provide company access to sensitive data without patients’ explicit consent.