Look Here: Phone App Checks Photos For Eye Disease : Shots – Health News : NPR


Examples of what the iPhone app looks for: The white reflection from an otherwise dark pupil can indicate a tumor, a cataract or other eye problems.

. Shaw saw signs of his son’s cancer when the baby was just 12 days old; there was a white reflection coming from Noah’s eyes in flash pictures taken with the family’s digital camera. The flash was reflecting off tumors at the back of Noah’s eyes.

“If I would have had some software telling me, ‘Hey, go get this checked out,’ that would have sped up my son’s diagnosis and the tumors would have been just a little bit smaller when we got to them,” says Shaw. “There might have been fewer.” And maybe doctors wouldn’t have had to remove Noah’s right eye to prevent the cancer from spreading.

“Machine learning is about training the computer to do things by example,” Hamerly explains. (White reflections from the eye’s pupil, called

Hamerly needed lots of pictures of children with retinoblastoma to train the computer. Luckily, Shaw’s wife Elizabeth is a shutterbug, so there were lots. He also received pictures from other parents of children with retinoblastoma who

“We just go out and gather images on the Web that are public domain,” Hamerly says, “and we can get thousands, millions of images of eyes.”

“The easiest thing to do is to search your photos for the white eye,” he told me. “You just hit the button ‘search photos,’ and boom — it starts a search of all your photos on your device, and it’ll let you know if it sees anything.”

Curated from Look Here: Phone App Checks Photos For Eye Disease : Shots – Health News : NPR