Researchers from universities and hospitals in Birmingham and London are using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve diagnosis and treatment of birdshot uveitis.
The Fight for Sight funded project uses AI to extract ‘hidden’ information from retinal images of patients with the rare eye condition, with a goal to enable earlier diagnosis and more precise monitoring of changes in the eye linked with the condition – helping to protect patients from sight loss.
The ultimate aim is to create an automated system that can detect and interpret subtle patterns in the data, providing accurate measures to improve diagnosis and monitoring of the disease.
While birdshot uveitis is treatable, patients may have mild symptoms when the condition is in its early stages, and so they may only be diagnosed after their retina is already damaged. Developing accurate new tests that can diagnose the condition earlier could enable people to receive treatment sooner, helping to prevent unnecessary sight loss.
People with birdshot uveitis are usually treated with drugs that can dampen inflammation in the eye. But unfortunately, these can lead to unwanted side effects. Currently, there is no ‘one size fits all’ treatment plan that can achieve the right balance between reducing retinal damage and limiting side effects.
Birdshot uveitis is a rare, sight-threatening eye condition caused by inflammation of the part of the eye that provides the retina with most of its blood supply. It is an autoimmune disease, where the body’s own immune system wrongly attacks its own tissues.
Developing accurate new tests that can diagnose the condition earlier could enable people to receive treatment sooner, helping to prevent unnecessary sight loss.