They say the eyes are the window to the soul. Now imagine your eyes were windows to your health. This isn’t the plot of a futuristic science fiction movie-it’s happening now. Scientists at Google have recently developed an innovative technique which allows medical instruments to glean biometric data from a simple eye scan. Using this new method, important statistics such as age and blood pressure can be measured in a non-invasive way. A doctor or scientist can scan the back of the eye and search for abnormalities. This information is then analyzed using an algorithm and machine learning software to identify risk factors and predict heart attack risk with 70% accuracy.
Beyond the United States, researchers at the Medical University of Vienna have taken the science further, using a photography technique called optical coherence tomography to spot damaged blood vessels due to diabetes. Other conditions identified this way include cancer, high cholesterol, and multiple sclerosis. This type of early detection has the potential to change the face of healthcare. Eliminating the need for invasive medical procedures will allow doctors to focus more of their time on providing high-quality patient care. In addition, if serious conditions could be caught sooner, it would vastly improve the prognosis.
Developments like this are representative of a larger shift toward digital health. Many health systems now offer virtual doctor visits. Electronic medical records are becoming more and more advanced. Retina scans are already utilized to identify patients, just like fingerprints.
At Extract, we are dedicated to moving healthcare into the future. We are already employing high-tech machine learning and optical character recognition methods to innovate in the field of document handling.
About the Author: Claire Means
Claire is a Database Development Specialist at Extract Systems. She started at the company as a document verifier, which gives her a unique understanding of the redaction software. Her attention to detail and high rate of accuracy prove her dedication to Extract’s success. Claire holds a certificate in Web Design from Madison College and her special interests include web analytics and search engine optimization.