Heart disease, which is estimated to take around 17.9 million lives annually, is among the leading causes of death across the world. This condition commonly affects people aged 20 and older across the united States, with one American suffering a heart attack every 40 seconds. In total, roughly 800,000 individuals suffer heart attacks every year.
Although heart diseases such as coronary artery disease cannot be cured, early detection can allow for the management of symptoms to reduce a patient’s chances of having a heart attack.
Researchers have now developed software that could allow physicians to detect heart disease in only 60 seconds by analyzing the arteries and veins in the eye. The AI tool leverages machine learning to study the web of veins and arteries that crisscross the retina, measuring the total area these blood vessels cover, their width and how bendy they are.
Since heart health has a major impact on these factors, the AI tool can predict how healthy a patient’s heart is by analyzing them. The lead author of the study, Alicja Rudnicha, stated that this tool helps physicians know whether a patient had heart disease or their risk level within a minute. Furthermore, researchers say that the predictions provided by the AI tool were just as accurate as those inferred from current tests.
The AI tool would allow doctors to find out if their patients had heart disease or how likely they were to develop cardiovascular disease, in a quick, noninvasive way. It was developed by a team of researchers from St George’s University of London, and it is among a growing body of research on how the eye can be used to peer into the rest of the body.
Pearse Keane, an AI analysis and ophthalmology researcher who wasn’t involved in the recent study, stated that doctors had known for more than a century that the eyes could show signs of high blood pressure and diabetes. However, he added, manually assessing the delineation of blood vessels in the eyes was an almost insurmountable challenge for most experts.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence can overcome this challenge, and researchers have been working hard to develop diagnostic tools that leverage machine learning. For example, in 2018, the FDA approved a diagnostic AI software that didn’t require specialized doctors to aid in the screening of eye disease.
This latest study was still limited in terms of participants, with only eye scans of white patients sourced from a database that is 96.4% white being used to test the software. Future studies on the use of machine learning to diagnose illnesses via the eye would have to account for different ethnicities.
Other companies such as Odyssey Health Inc. (OTC: ODYY) are also developing their own software to noninvasively detect heart disease in the field. As these technologies proliferate, there could be fewer people suffering from heart disease complications traceable to the late detection of their illnesses.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Odyssey Health Inc. (OTC: ODYY) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/ODYY
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