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Algorithm Spots COVID-19 Cases from Eye Images: Preprint


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Eye regions analyzed by the AI-based tool for screening potential coronavirus infections.

Researchers say an artificial intelligence tool was able to accurately diagnose coronavirus infections more than 90% of the time.

Credit: Yanwei Fu

Scientists describe a potential screening method for COVID-19 based on eye images analyzed by artificial intelligence. Scanning a set of images from several hundred individuals with and without COVID-19, the tool accurately diagnosed coronavirus infections more than 90% of the time, the developers reported in a preprint posted to medRxiv September 10.

"Our model is quite fast," Yanwei Fu, a computer scientist at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, who led the study, tells The Scientist. "In less than a second it can check results."

Currently, screening for coronavirus infection involves CT imaging of the lungs or analyzing samples from the nose or throat, both of which take time and require professional effort. A system based on a few images of the eyes that could triage or even diagnose people would save on both costs and time, says Fu. But the investigation by Fu's team is preliminary and both ophthalmologists and AI specialists say they'd want to see much more information on the technique—and its performance—before being convinced it could work.

 

From The Scientist
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