I-SCREEN programme will use AI and OCT imaging to identify and monitor AMD


I-SCREEN will bring together 12 institutions across Europe, including Queen’s University Belfast

An elderly woman undergoes an eye exam. Image credit: ©cherryandbees – stock.adobe.com

The I-SCREEN programme will use AI for earlier detection of AMD. Image credit: ©cherryandbees – stock.adobe.com

A new research project in Europe entitled I-SCREEN is designed to help with the early detection of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The I-SCREEN project uses an artificial intelligence (AI) programme that is compatible with optical coherence tomography (OCT) scanners. The programme will use these images to identify and monitor AMD in its early stages.1 I-SCREEN will bring together 12 institutions across Europe, including Queen’s University Belfast, and will receive 4.7 million euros from the European Innovation Council’s (EIC) Pathfinder programme over the next four years.1

Dr Ruth Hogg from the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast, along with researchers from Northern Ireland Clinical Research facility, plan to recruit a cohort of patients with intermediate AMD to follow for 2 years. They hope to identify the earliest stage of transition to late AMD, which will allow researchers to refine the AI models that could be used in the community.1

In the press release1 from Queen’s University Belfast, Hogg commented on the research project. “AMD poses a significant healthcare challenge, often slipping under the radar until severe vision loss occurs," she said. "The I-SCREEN project is dedicated to addressing this silent threat, leveraging AI and cloud technology together with imaging devices and expertise within Optometry to make early AMD detection and treatment accessible to citizens from their local high street.”

I-SCREEN Coordinator, Professor Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth from Medizinische Universität Wien shared the objectives of this project. She said, "In AMD, as a population-wide burden, early detection resulting in timely treatment and a wide access to care is paramount. It is our responsibility in healthcare to combine forces in respect to human expertise and technology to provide life-long vision for the entire society."1

The I-SCREEN project is made possible through the multidisciplinary collaboration including a network of clinical retina experts, computer scientists working with AI development, an infrastructure of community-based opticians/optometrists, and business specialists experienced in clinical decision support systems for ophthalmology.1

1. New Artificial Intelligence (AI) project will aid early detection of age-related macular degeneration. Queens University Belfast. Published April 15, 2024. Accessed April 15, 2024.
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