This AI can anticipate a heart problem by scanning your eyes in a minute

Tetra Images / Getty Images/Tetra Images RF

Tetra Images / Getty Images/Tetra Images RF

Cardiac risks can be estimated in a minute with a simple retinal scan.

HEALTH – Anticipate a heart problem in less than a minute? This is now possible thanks to the artificial intelligence Quartz, developed by British researchers. It can accurately predict a person’s risk of heart disease in less than a minute, just by scanning their eyes. Yes, the eyes. You read correctly. This breakthrough could allow medical professionals to perform cardiovascular screenings without having to perform blood tests or check blood pressure at a clinic.

The studypublished Tuesday, October 4 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, demonstrates that imaging the veins and arteries of the retina, combined with known risk factors, can clarify the risk of cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular death and death. ‘stroke.

Professor Alicja Rudnicka, lead author of the study, told the Guardian that “this AI tool could allow a person to know in 60 seconds or less their level of risk. » Importantly, the scientists believe these findings could pave the way for a highly effective, non-invasive test to be available for people at medium to high risk of heart disease, without the need to perform it in the clinic. .

A long-term study

The researchers used the Quartz tool to scan the images of 88,052 participants, aged 40 to 69. They specifically looked at the width, vessel area, and degree of curvature of the retinal arteries and veins. The goal ? Develop models for predicting strokes, heart attacks and deaths from circulatory diseases.

These models were then applied to the retinal images of 7,411 other participants, aged 48 to 92, from the Epic study (European prospective investigation into cancer). Everyone’s health was tracked for an average of seven to nine years. Quartz also has access to the history of participants: smoking, medications to treat high blood pressure and previous heart attacks.

The retinal data calculated by Quartz were significantly associated with cardiovascular disease, death and stroke, the researchers said. The predictive performance of the AI ​​is similar to that of the Framingham clinical risk score, a benchmark calculation technique that allows an estimation of cardiovascular risks over 10 years.

This method would therefore make it possible to prevent the risk much more simply. For Alicja Rudnicka, still in the columns of the Guardian, “A person who learns that their risk is higher than expected may be prescribed statins (a treatment for high cholesterol in cardiovascular disease) or be offered another intervention. »

According WHOheart disease is the leading cause of death globally between the years 2000 and 2019. It accounts for 16% of total deaths.

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This AI can anticipate a heart problem by scanning your eyes in a minute


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