Artificial intelligence to identify risk of diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) remains one of the leading causes of vision loss in the working-age population, affecting more than a third of all people living with diabetes (IDF 2020).

With this panorama of the health and economic impact of the DR, having tools and technology that already contributes to the prevention and timely detection of this complication is of great value for patients, health professionals and, of course, for the family economy, of companies and in general of a country in terms of labor productivity.

Without replacing the ophthalmological examination, there are methods to calculate the risk of developing the disease based on an assessment of the risk factors, which allows us to prevent this complication.

Thanks to the alliance between SocialDiabetes and RetinaRisk, you can now see the risk of having this complication integrated into your app and take action to prevent it

Risk calculation for the development of retinopathy in SocialDiabetes with RetinaRisk

RetinaRisk, already integrated into SocialDiabetes, is a solution based on artificial intelligence that allows calculating the personalized risk for the development of diabetic retinopathy, based on an assessment of the risk factors associated with its development, based on the data that we already collect in SocialDiabetes such as: glycated hemoglobin (A1C), the person’s sex, year of onset and blood pressure value.

With this calculation we can alert our users when they are at high risk for developing DR and be able to have an early diagnosis and timely treatment of DR if it is the case.

How to perform a RetinaRisk risk calculation in SocialDiabetes?

To use the RetinaRisk function, you only have to go to the main menu (hamburger menu), click on “Retinopathy test” and you can purchase the performance of 1, 6 or 12 risk calculations for retinopathy, having different payment options, completely safe.

Once the calculation is done, you can view the results and consult them whenever you want, as well as download and share them with your healthcare professional.

This solution is one more decision support tool and gives a risk prediction, which does not replace the diagnosis and clinical evaluation of your doctor, always remember to consult with the specialist.

RELATED CLINICAL INFORMATION

What causes diabetic retinopathy?

When there are chronically high glucose levels (hyperglycemia), the blood vessels of the retina dilate, causing microaneurysms (earliest clinical sign of DR) and hemorrhages of said vessels, as well as changes in the blood flow of the retina, which over time affects the visual function of the eye, up to blindness, which is irreversible.

Consequently, if there is no proper control of diabetes, the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy increases, so the best way to prevent it is to maintain glucose levels within targets, coupled with adequate levels of blood pressure and blood lipids. , factors also involved in the development of retinopathy.

How is diabetic retinopathy diagnosed?

The diagnosis of RD is made with the identification of vascular alterations in the retina, which can only be detected by fundus photography (ophthalmological study that allows observing the back of the eye, for which it is required to dilate the pupil) made by a specialist.

Commonly, in the early stages of the disease, patients are asymptomatic, which makes diagnosis difficult if periodic ophthalmological evaluations are not carried out, reaching detection until more advanced stages when they may experience distortion of visual images and a decrease in visual acuity. .

The RetinaRisk risk calculation is a very useful tool for reaching an early diagnosis, without this replacing the ophthalmological examination necessary for the diagnosis of DR.

Remember that the key to preventing chronic complications is self-care and the proper decision-making that you make on a daily basis for your control, based on knowledge and/or education in diabetes, always guided by the recommendations of health professionals, taking into account to SocialDiabetes as an ally.

References

International Diabetes Federation and The Fred Hollows Foundation. Diabetes and eye health: a guide for health professionals. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2015. www.idf.org/eyecare

Wang, W. and Lo, A. (2018). Diabetic retinopathy: pathophysiology and treatments. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(6), 1816. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19061816

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