The shape of things to come: three ways OCT is evolving
OT 's Selina Powell reports on the future of OCT
08 March 2019
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) devices produce a vast expanse of information. Moorfields Eye Hospital alone takes around 1000 OCT scans each day across its UK sites, while a growing number of High Street practices are purchasing OCT devices. It is this data-rich nature of OCT that makes it a frontrunner for the use of machine learning. A partnership between DeepMind and Moorfields Eye Hospital has developed a method of diagnosing common eye conditions from OCT scans with an accuracy on par to world-leading clinicians, while IBM has used artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and classify the severity of diabetic eye disease and diagnose glaucoma. Where will AI head next? It is anyone’s guess.
If you think of a traditional OCT scan as a polaroid snapshot, then OCT angiography (OCT-A) is the sharp image taken with a digital camera. OCT-A is capable of displaying blood vessels at a finer level. And, unlike older techniques, it can do this without the need to inject a dye into the patient’s arm beforehand. This makes it useful for investigating vascular changes as a result of disease, and of course, is kinder to the person on the receiving end than the traditional method. Early research suggests that it may be helpful in detecting not only eye disease, but also for pinpointing warning signs of other conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Other articles in this series
- 'Selling' the OCT concept to patients: Dr Neelam Patel's three points that every practice team should consider
- The OA's take: Zoe Harrison's views on developing your clinical skillset
- The ABC of OCT: Dr Louise Terry's back-to-basics guide to OCT
- Fact from fiction: From visual fields to AMD, OT gets myth-busting
- Capturing the image: Taking the right steps at the right time
- Patient outcomes: Dr Louise Terry on how OCT devices are helping to detect eye conditions
- My take on...OCT: Our experts' predictions on what is next for OCT.
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