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In Journal of telemedicine and telecare ; h5-index 28.0

INTRODUCTION : Age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma are vision-threatening diseases that are leading causes of vision loss. Many studies have validated deep learning artificial intelligence for image-based diagnosis of vision-threatening diseases. Our study prospectively investigated deep learning artificial intelligence applications in student-run non-mydriatic screenings for an underserved, primarily Hispanic community during COVID-19.

METHODS : Five supervised student-run community screenings were held in West New York, New Jersey. Participants underwent non-mydriatic 45-degree retinal imaging by medical students. Images were uploaded to a cloud-based deep learning artificial intelligence for vision-threatening disease referral. An on-site tele-ophthalmology grader and remote clinical ophthalmologist graded images, with adjudication by a senior ophthalmologist to establish the gold standard diagnosis, which was used to assess the performance of deep learning artificial intelligence.

RESULTS : A total of 385 eyes from 195 screening participants were included (mean age 52.43  ±  14.5 years, 40.0% female). A total of 48 participants were referred for at least one vision-threatening disease. Deep learning artificial intelligence marked 150/385 (38.9%) eyes as ungradable, compared to 10/385 (2.6%) ungradable as per the human gold standard (p < 0.001). Deep learning artificial intelligence had 63.2% sensitivity, 94.5% specificity, 32.0% positive predictive value, and 98.4% negative predictive value in vision-threatening disease referrals. Deep learning artificial intelligence successfully referred all 4 eyes with multiple vision-threatening diseases. Deep learning artificial intelligence graded images (35.6  ±  13.3 s) faster than the tele-ophthalmology grader (129  ±  41.0) and clinical ophthalmologist (68  ±  21.9, p < 0.001).

DISCUSSION : Deep learning artificial intelligence can increase the efficiency and accessibility of vision-threatening disease screenings, particularly in underserved communities. Deep learning artificial intelligence should be adaptable to different environments. Consideration should be given to how deep learning artificial intelligence can best be utilized in a real-world application, whether in computer-aided or autonomous diagnosis.

Zhu Aretha, Tailor Priya, Verma Rashika, Zhang Isis, Schott Brian, Ye Catherine, Szirth Bernard, Habiel Miriam, Khouri Albert S


COVID-19, Tele-ophthalmology, deep learning artificial intelligence, vision screenings