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Optos awarded funding to explore AI applications within NHS

The Fife company will conduct a clinical study to explore the potential of automatic grading within the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme

human mind
Pixabay/Gerd Altmann
Optos has received funding from a partnership that aims to accelerate the testing and evaluation of promising artificial intelligence (AI) technologies within the NHS.

The Fife-based retinal imaging technology company received funding through the AI in Health and Care Award programme.

Optos will use the grant to fund a study exploring if automated grading is clinically and cost effective for the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme.

The work will be supported by Moorfields Eye Hospital, researchers from Queen’s University Belfast and software provider, InHealth.

Optos technology uses a machine learning algorithm to assess the retina for the presence of diabetic retinopathy or diabetic macular oedema. It produces a report in around one minute identifying whether a patient should be referred to an eye care specialist.

The AI in Health and Care Award programme received more than 540 applications, with 42 awards allocated.

Other projects funded through the scheme includes technology to analyse breast cancer screening scans, assess emergency stroke patients and a wearable patch to detect irregular heartbeats.