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Validation of a deep learning system for the detection of diabetic retinopathy in Indigenous Australians

Chia, Mark A; Hersch, Fred; Sayres, Rory; Bavishi, Pinal; Tiwari, Richa; Keane, Pearse A; Turner, Angus W; (2023) Validation of a deep learning system for the detection of diabetic retinopathy in Indigenous Australians. British Journal of Ophthalmology 10.1136/bjo-2022-322237. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Deep learning systems (DLSs) for diabetic retinopathy (DR) detection show promising results but can underperform in racial and ethnic minority groups, therefore external validation within these populations is critical for health equity. This study evaluates the performance of a DLS for DR detection among Indigenous Australians, an understudied ethnic group who suffer disproportionately from DR-related blindness. METHODS: We performed a retrospective external validation study comparing the performance of a DLS against a retinal specialist for the detection of more-than-mild DR (mtmDR), vision-threatening DR (vtDR) and all-cause referable DR. The validation set consisted of 1682 consecutive, single-field, macula-centred retinal photographs from 864 patients with diabetes (mean age 54.9 years, 52.4% women) at an Indigenous primary care service in Perth, Australia. Three-person adjudication by a panel of specialists served as the reference standard. RESULTS: For mtmDR detection, sensitivity of the DLS was superior to the retina specialist (98.0% (95% CI, 96.5 to 99.4) vs 87.1% (95% CI, 83.6 to 90.6), McNemar's test p<0.001) with a small reduction in specificity (95.1% (95% CI, 93.6 to 96.4) vs 97.0% (95% CI, 95.9 to 98.0), p=0.006). For vtDR, the DLS's sensitivity was again superior to the human grader (96.2% (95% CI, 93.4 to 98.6) vs 84.4% (95% CI, 79.7 to 89.2), p<0.001) with a slight drop in specificity (95.8% (95% CI, 94.6 to 96.9) vs 97.8% (95% CI, 96.9 to 98.6), p=0.002). For all-cause referable DR, there was a substantial increase in sensitivity (93.7% (95% CI, 91.8 to 95.5) vs 74.4% (95% CI, 71.1 to 77.5), p<0.001) and a smaller reduction in specificity (91.7% (95% CI, 90.0 to 93.3) vs 96.3% (95% CI, 95.2 to 97.4), p<0.001). CONCLUSION: The DLS showed improved sensitivity and similar specificity compared with a retina specialist for DR detection. This demonstrates its potential to support DR screening among Indigenous Australians, an underserved population with a high burden of diabetic eye disease.

Type: Article
Title: Validation of a deep learning system for the detection of diabetic retinopathy in Indigenous Australians
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bjo-2022-322237
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1136/bjo-2022-322237
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Diagnostic tests/Investigation, Imaging, Retina
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10164898
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