ARVO, AI, and a Vision for the Future

SriniVas Sadda, MD

President & Chief Scientific Officer

May 2019

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Just last month, the annual gathering for Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) held in Vancouver, themed From Bench to Bedside and Back struck me as keenly relevant because it also captured the scope of impact that artificial intelligence, or AI, is having on ophthalmology.

All of the conversations and connections at ARVO matter, and this year as much of our collective energies and ideas focused on the advances afforded by AI, I want to use this space to mention a few examples:

  • Doheny’s Dr. Jewel Hu is at the forefront of breakthroughs in late stage AMD atrophy diagnostic research because of her work integrating AI with existing tools.
  • Dr. Pearse Keane, a former Doheny fellow, contributes landmark thinking in recent publications envisioning the future of OCT with AI to the benefit of doctors, scientists and ultimately patients everywhere from his base at University College London Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital.
  • Dr. Dimitri Azar, Senior Director of Ophthalmic Innovations at Alphabet Verily Life Sciences, delivered our 2019 Irvine Lecture during the Doheny Alumni Meeting, and we anticipate the great potential of our continued collaborations with Google to yield AI technologies that can transform our current models for screening for diabetic retinopathy.

It seems entirely accurate to me when my Doheny colleague, Dr. Alfredo Sadun, says that in his assessment, the impact of AI on medicine will be as sweeping as the impact of the industrial revolution on the world.  We are on the brink of so many transformative breakthroughs powered by machine learning. This acceleration of understanding is profoundly meaningful because of the vast potential to improve the quality of lives.

While you are here, I invite you to listen to my conversation about AI at Doheny with Dr. Michael Ip, Director of the Doheny Image Reading Center on the Doheny Podcast Network.

Much of our mission critical work at Doheny is being enhanced by this technology, and I am eager to spread appreciation and understanding of what AI can do to help and heal.

Thank you for listening, and for your continued support of our work.

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