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Counterpoint: The Pros and Cons of AI-based “Diagnosis” of Diabetic Retinopathy

By A. Paul Chous, MA, OD, FAAO, CDE

The FDA just gave first approval to an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm for the detection of diabetic retinopathy in the offices of non-ophthalmic health care practitioners. Dubbed the IDx-DR (IDx, LLC, Coralville, Iowa), and paired with a Topcon NW400 non-mydriatic retinal camera, captured images are sent to a cloud-based server that utilizes the IDx-DR software and a ‘deep learning’ algorithm to detect retinal findings consistent with diabetic retinopathy based on autonomous comparison with a large dataset of representative fundus images.

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