By Analyzing the retinal blood vessels, a fully autonomous artificial intelligence is able to detect potential cardiovascular diseases.
Our eyes can tell us much more about our health than we think. An international collaboration of researchers has developed an autonomous artificial intelligence that is able to predict the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients through the blood vessels of the retina. The results of the study were published in the journal Nature Biological Engineering.
An autonomous artificial intelligence
The researchers came up with the idea of using angiography to illuminate the blood vessels in the retina. In this method of medical imaging, the patient is administered a slightly radioactive contrast medium, which then attaches itself to the target organ or tissue. Using the radioactivity of the contrast medium and the rays from the device used to transcribe the information, it is then possible to visually map the area.
In the case of retinal angiography, the aim is to detect hypertension in the blood vessels, which would be a sign of cardiovascular disease. Although it has long been possible to detect the risk of cardiovascular disease in our retinas, the novelty here is that thanks to artificial intelligence, human intervention will no longer be absolutely necessary.
Better results than doctors
To this end, the researchers trained the artificial intelligence by using 70,000 images of people from different backgrounds so that it could understand on its own whether or not they were at risk of cardiovascular disease. The images focused on common markers that can be identified in the retinal vascular system.
To better assess the accuracy of the artificial intelligence’s recognition capabilities, the researchers then subjected the computer to tests to compare these results with those of real doctors. Without surprises, the recognition abilities of the artificial intelligence surpassed those of real doctors.