“I think we should keep an open mind as optometrists”

Optometrist Kishan Devraj on the potential of AI for eye care and an app that harnesses smart phone data for insight on the impact of eye disease

Optometrist, Kishan Devraj, has outlined how artificial intelligence (AI) technology has the potential to address an overstretched health service.

Devraj spoke with OT about the development of Oversight – an app that collects smartphone data for insight on the impact of eye disease.

He explained that phones have sensors that collect information which can provide insight on the impact of living with sight loss.

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Devraj shares insight into his research and AI technology in our June/July feature, Computer says go.

“Oversight collects this information, passively and actively, to give us an idea of the impact of having an eye disease on somebody’s lifestyle,” he said.

Data analysed by Oversight includes ambient light levels, sleep patterns, step count, how we use the keyboard on phones and how many mistakes are made.

“Currently we measure vision every year or two years through a visual acuity assessment but imagine if we could tell how an eye disease affects people day to day, minute by minute,” Devraj emphasised.

Asked about the implications of AI within eye care, Devraj highlighted AI creates many opportunities.

“I think we should keep an open mind as optometrists. The industry is changing and it is changing because we have major challenges. We have a healthcare system that is overburdened. People are waiting longer,” Devraj highlighted.

“We have to understand that technology is probably the only way that is going to resolve some of those issues,” he emphasised.