'Triad' Screens for Diabetic Retinopathy

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., May 11 (UPI) — U.S. scientists say they’ve developed a machine that allows early diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy and other potentially blinding diseases.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers said their Telemedical Retinal Image Analysis and Diagnosis technology, known as TRIAD, could be a life-changer for people at risk of diabetic retinopathy and eye diseases.

Officials said the technology — recently licensed to Automated Medical Diagnostics, a Memphis start-up company, by ORNL and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center — can quickly screen for the disease in a doctor’s office or other remote sites, permitting early detection and referral for diabetic retinopathy and other retinal diseases.

“If diabetic retinopathy is detected early, treatments can preserve vision and significantly reduce the incidence of debilitating blindness,” said Professor Edward Chaum at the university’s Hamilton Eye Institute. Chaum and ORNL’s Ken Tobin led the team that developed the device.

“With the TRIAD network, all of the computed diagnoses are sent to an ophthalmologist for review and sign-off of the computer-generated report, much like what is done for an EKG,” Tobin said. “Over time, our hope is that the number of reports requiring physician review will be reduced as the performance of the TRIAD network is proven through clinical testing.”

The research also included scientists from the University of North Carolina and the Delta Health Alliance.

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