Dr. Abhishek Mandal, Ph.D.
Senior Business Adviser, Vision Science Academy, London, U.K.
Vision Science Academy Exclusive
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are proving to revolutionize industries around the world. For the majority of industries, this means automating certain practices, which is easy to understand for some more than others. Already, scientists predict that AI and machine learning will have a large presence within the healthcare space, but what does that really mean? In this post, we will discuss how these technologies can be applied to eyecare.
Understanding Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are largely two sides of the same coin. Artificial intelligence is a part of machine learning, but both are being used to change the world on a near daily basis. Artificial intelligence is the creation of machines that can think on a level that is comparable to the human mind. Machine learning, the process of technology learning based on input and adapting to certain stimuli, is being used to make this possible. These two components are coming together to make the perfect computing masterpiece for the benefit of all.
How Are These Technologies Applied to Eyecare?
Already, artificial intelligence and machine learning are being used to revolutionize the medical space. AI systems are being created that can help to navigate paperwork or check in patients with absolute ease. They are simplifying medical practices around the globe and even being used to create better medications. Within the eye care space, AI technology is being used to screen for conditions like diabetic retinopathy and more. These systems can help with preemptive screening processes that can ensure that the right patients get to the right medical professionals, and it is likely that we will see more of this with time.
What Does This Mean for The Future of Eyecare?
Unlike the future predicted by science fiction films around the world, it is unlikely that we will see any AI optometrists or ophthalmologists anytime soon. Artificial intelligence is not a substitute for a trained medical professional, but it can help to simplify some of the work. In the future, it is likely that we will see a reality where AI systems can run screening sessions for patients, and some might even be able to evaluate test results. As it stands, these AI systems will be used to support the eye care field by taking over some of the basic work to help ensure that medical professionals can focus on providing exceptional care.
As these technologies continue to grow and adapt, we will without a doubt find more uses for them. Today, artificial intelligence might be used to manage patient files. Tomorrow, it might prove to be the perfect assistant for optometrists and ophthalmologists while they work. It is still unclear what we can expect from these technologies, but it seems likely that AI will play a substantial role in the way that every field operates. Going forward, you can expect to see more AI technology being applied to the medical space for the betterment of all.
- Catania, L. (2017) Artificial intelligence will change the way eye care providers practice. Healio.
- DOCET Staff. (2019). Advances in Eyecare: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. DOCET.
- Hao, K. (2020). What is machine learning? MIT Technology Review.