Artificial intelligence (AI) still sounds like a hugely futuristic concept, bringing to mind the idea of sentient robots and self-aware super computers. But the truth is that AI is not something of the future – it is very much a part of the present.
AI is commonplace in many of the services we use on a daily basis, and it is now beginning to play a major role in many others too. One of these areas is optometry and eyecare – but there are some misconceptions over the role that AI can play in it. Here we take a look at the way AI is affecting optometry and how this will change.
Successfully screening for conditions
One of the major areas of advance for optometry thanks to AI is the screen for diabetic retinopathy. AI has been shown to match or even exceed the ability of experts to identify and grade the severity of the condition.
In this case the AI was not specifically programmed to recognize features – rather it was able to assess thousands of images of thousands of eyes – both healthy and diseased – and establish the differences between the two.
Ideal for repetitive tasks
We may often think of AI as being a rival for human intelligence, and this makes some worry that these sorts of advanced programmes will take over human jobs. In fact, the function of AI is not to replace those in the industry but instead to supplement current skills.
One of the ways that AI excels is in the ability to perform repetitive tasks continuously and very quickly. This can be extremely important for eyecare providers, and can make the work of optometrists far easier.
Suited to proactive practices
Forward-thinking healthcare professionals can gain a great deal from the changes that AI is bringing. It is important for those in eyecare to start embracing this change in technology, as it can make your eyecare practice more effective and efficient.
Of course, it is not just AI that is changing optometry. Across the industry proactive businesses are those that are pushing forward and making changes. If you are interested in learning more about how to improve your eyecare business, Optical Success Academy can help.