Dr. Abhishek Mandal, Ph.D.
Senior Business Adviser, Vision Science Academy, London, U.K.
Vision Science Academy Exclusive
Many people think that artificial intelligence (AI) is merely about the Sci-Fi and notion of modern world movies, including robots and holograms, but it is much more. This technology is making the life of people with different disabilities easy and independent. Smartphones help people with impairments through their various applications to stay self-sufficient. Visually handicapped individuals, for example, can read their mail using “Seeing AI” by scanning the documents through the smartphone camera. Similarly, people who cannot move can get help from a personal assistant like Amazon Alexa (O-group, 2018). In short, any handicapped person can benefit from AI technology.
With the emergence of AI and modern technologies, the lifestyle of people has changed and improved dramatically. AI is a multifaceted technology that includes complex algorithms, machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL). In the field of ophthalmology AI, ML, and DL have provided automated devices that aid in the confirmation of the illness diagnoses, analyse pictures, conduct corneal topography mapping, and calculate intraocular lens calculations. Ocular imaging diagnoses tracks the evolution of variant diseases, including Diabetic Retinopathy (DR), Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Glaucoma, and other ophthalmic conditions (Balyen & Peto, 2019). DR, AMD, and glaucoma are the three major causes of permanent blindness across the globe.
Another AI technology, the AI-powered glasses, help people with low vision to read at home or workplace, recognise people and perform other essential daily activities. It is not a surprise that these digital AI-powered glasses are changing the lives of visually impaired people globally. The shifting patterns of chronic illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, DR, AMD, glaucoma, and changes in population demographics and lifestyle are increasing the demand for such pictures. In many countries, the number of expert ophthalmologists and qualified human graders is as low as none. Patients with eye ailments are to increase at the same rate as the global population ages. Thus, early detection and treatment of ocular illnesses are critical to avoid preventable vision loss. The diagnosis of ocular ailments, if relied on the physician and his expertise, is risky because the practitioner could misjudge and make a mistaken diagnosis. It could result in loss of vision or lead to any other disease due to improper treatment (Lu et al., 2018). Furthermore, human data management is not reliable as well.
On the other hand, deep learning and artificial intelligence integration technologies are potentially reliable for calculating and transforming a large amount of data and generating sequences to assist in the smooth diagnosis and treatment of the disease. In recent times, AI has appeared to be the most trustworthy technology for treating vision disabilities and has transformed the lives of disabled people better. With the current pace of improvements, the future is seemed to be more AI-dependent.
Artificial Intelligence Enhances Accessibility for People with Disabilities. (n.d.). Retrieved June 15, 2022, from https://www.inclusivecitymaker.com/artificial-intelligence-accessibility-examples-technology-serves-people-disabilities/
Balyen, L., & Peto, T. (2019). Promising artificial intelligence-machine learning-deep learning algorithms in ophthalmology. The Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology, 8 (3), 264–272.
Lu, W., Tong, Y., Yu, Y., Xing, Y., Chen, C., & Shen, Y. (2018). Applications of artificial intelligence in ophthalmology: General overview. Journal of Ophthalmology, 2018.