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Google Successfully Uses Machine Learning To Detect Diabetic Retinopathy ( 30

BrianFagioli writes from a report via BetaNews: Diabetic eye disease is caused by retinopathy. Affected diabetics can have small tears inside the eye, causing bleeding. Over time, they can lose vision, and ultimately, they can go blind. Luckily, Google has been trying to use machine learning to detect diabetic retinopathy. Guess what? The search giant has seen much success. Not only are the computers able to detect the disease at the same level as ophthalmologists, but Google is actually slightly better! "A few years ago, a Google research team began studying whether machine learning could be used to screen for diabetic retinopathy (DR). Today, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, we've published our results: a deep learning algorithm capable of interpreting signs of DR in retinal photographs, potentially helping doctors screen more patients, especially in underserved communities with limited resources," says Lily Peng, MD Ph.D., Product Manger at Google. She goes on to say "our algorithm performs on par with the ophthalmologists, achieving both high sensitivity and specificity. [...] For example, on the validation set described in Figure 2, the algorithm has a F-score of 0.95, which is slightly better than the median. F-score of the 8 ophthalmologists we consulted (measured at 0.91)."
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Google Successfully Uses Machine Learning To Detect Diabetic Retinopathy

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  • ... so they can detect something for which there is no known cure sooner.


    So now you'll know even sooner that you're going to lose your eyesight eventually.... I suppose this might give you more opportunity to prepare for it, but I expect all that it will actually do is give you more time to be dreading the future.

    • Re:That's nice.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by bargainsale ( 1038112 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2016 @08:38PM (#53389499)
      Nonsense. Diabetic retinopathy is very treatable. (It's actually probably the most valuable thing I myself do during my working week.)
      Certainly it doesn't always work in every case. But that's true of any treatment you care to mention.
      Panretinal photocoagulation (with lasers) has saved the sight of hundreds of thousands of people. Over the past few years, on top of this, there have been major advances using antiVEGF treatments like Lucentis/ranibizumab.
      It is *eminently* worthwhile for diabetics to be screened for eye disease. The problem is not that we can't treat it - it's that treatment is best done *before* the patient notices any problem. Hence, screening.
  • ...Google told us they could predict outbreaks of colds and flu? Let's wait and see how well their latest attempts at diagnosis and prediction go.

All seems condemned in the long run to approximate a state akin to Gaussian noise. -- James Martin