This study aims to evaluate the ability of an autonomous artificial intelligence (AI) system for detection of the most common central retinal pathologies in fundus photography.
Retrospective diagnostic test evaluation on a raw dataset of 5918 images (2839 individuals) evaluated with non-mydriatic cameras during routine occupational health checkups. Three camera models were employed: Optomed Aurora (field of view – FOV 50º, 88% of the dataset), ZEISS VISUSCOUT 100 (FOV 40º, 9%), and Optomed SmartScope M5 (FOV 40º, 3%). Image acquisition took 2 min per patient. Ground truth for each image of the dataset was determined by 2 masked retina specialists, and disagreements were resolved by a 3rd retina specialist. The specific pathologies considered for evaluation were “diabetic retinopathy” (DR), “Age-related macular degeneration” (AMD), “glaucomatous optic neuropathy” (GON), and “Nevus.” Images with maculopathy signs that did not match the described taxonomy were classified as “Other.”
The combination of algorithms to detect any abnormalities had an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.963 with a sensitivity of 92.9% and a specificity of 86.8%. The algorithms individually obtained are as follows: AMD AUC 0.980 (sensitivity 93.8%; specificity 95.7%), DR AUC 0.950 (sensitivity 81.1%; specificity 94.8%), GON AUC 0.889 (sensitivity 53.6% specificity 95.7%), Nevus AUC 0.931 (sensitivity 86.7%; specificity 90.7%).
Our holistic AI approach reaches high diagnostic accuracy at simultaneous detection of DR, AMD, and Nevus. The integration of pathology-specific algorithms permits higher sensitivities with minimal impact on its specificity. It also reduces the risk of missing incidental findings. Deep learning may facilitate wider screenings of eye diseases.

© 2022. The Author(s).