Heart disease and heart attack is a major health problem in most countries, and the conventional methods of checking for heart disease are expensive, time consuming and intrusive, require specialized equipment and a visit to a doctor or hospital with the relevant facilities. To overcome the problem, it was recently announced that Verily, the health tech group of Google has developed a new method of predicting the risk of heart disease in a person by carrying out a scan of the back of the eye of the person and using artificial intelligence to process the data obtained.
The scan of the back of a person’s eye will provide information on the person’s age, blood pressure ,whether or not the person is a smoker, and other information which determines whether the person was likely to develop cardiovascular problems. This information is used to determine whether the person is likely to have a heart attack or develop heart diseases. The algorithm was then developed using a machine, which analyzed the eye scans and also medical data of more than 300,000 patients, to establish the correlation between patterns in the eye scans, and the risk of having any cardiovascular disease in future.
The software is being tested for accuracy and in the testing phases, it is observed that the software is able to predict the cardiovascular disease with 70 percent accuracy. This compares favorably with the conventional method, using the SCORE process which has an accuracy of 72 percent and takes a longer period of time to be completed. The back of the inner eyeball is covered with blood vessels and their condition will prove a lot of information on the health of the heart. This heart health testing method and software is likely to be improved using additional medical data, so that the accuracy of the method for heart health checking will improve.