The Hospital de Santa Maria, in Lisbon, diagnoses glaucoma, an eye disease that causes irreversible blindness, in seconds, using an artificial intelligence program that saves the use of various tests, the Foundation announced today, a preview from Lusa.
In a statement, the Centro Hospitalar Universitário Lisboa Norte (CHULN), which houses the Hospital Santa Maria, emphasized that it “pioneered the use of artificial intelligence for glaucoma detection,” hoping to “eliminate the waiting list.” for the patients.
The examination with this technology has been carried out since November in the ophthalmology service of the hospital, but during the first half of the year the examination will also be carried out in a health center in Lisbon, as part of a pilot study, the ophthalmologist Luis Abigao he told Louise. Pinto, coordinator of glaucoma counseling at Santa María.
With the new test, simply take a photo of the eyes and within seconds the AI program diagnoses the disease, bypassing a “circle of seven tests that take about an hour” to confirm whether a suspected patient actually has glaucoma.
The statement quoted the ophthalmologist as saying: “With the usual circuit of exams, we were able to see only eight patients per day, in a process that involved three components, which are exams that the doctor still has to analyze later,” and noted that it allows the exploration with the help of artificial intelligence, “at least doubling the capacity of daily examinations and only being with the patients who really need to do the rest of the process”, after confirming the disease.
According to Luís Abegão Pinto, the AI program was trained to recognize glaucoma, a progressive, asymptomatic and difficult-to-diagnose disease, based on data from 5,000 to 6,000 cases.
It is estimated that in Portugal there are some 400,000 people with glaucoma, half of whom are not diagnosed, according to CHULN.
Although there is no cure for the disease, it can be controlled with treatments to stop the progressive optic nerve damage that leads to vision loss, if diagnosed early.