New eye tech for better diabetes management

Biomarkers in the eyes could play a part in helping manage diabetic retinopathy and potentially diabetes, says new research from the Indiana University School of Optometry.

The new retinal research has found that changes within the eye can be measured earlier than previously thought with specialised optical techniques and computer analysis. This may lead to the early identification of people at risk for diabetes or visual impairment and improve healthcare teams’ ability to manage these patients.

Study co-author Ann E Elsner, a Distinguished Professor at the IU School of Optometry, says: “Early detection of retinal damage from diabetes is possible to obtain with painless methods and might help identify undiagnosed patients early enough to diminish the consequences of uncontrolled diabetes.”

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease, and the study is part of the current widespread emphasis in the US on detecting the condition through artificial intelligence applied to retinal images. The researchers used data collected from volunteers with diabetes, along with healthy control subjects. Additional data were also collected from a diabetic retinopathy screening of underserved community members at the University of California, Berkeley and Alameda Health.

The study was supported by a five-year $2.6m grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute. Read the study in the journal PLOS One.


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