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Preventing blindness focus of ORNL technology, AMDx
Date:5/5/2010

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., May 5, 2010 -- Automated Medical Diagnostics, a startup company based in Memphis, envisions its product helping to preserve the sight of millions of people at risk of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy.

Using Telemedical Retinal Image Analysis and Diagnosis, a technology recently licensed by AMDx from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, patients can quickly be screened for the disease in their primary care doctor's office and 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 Edward Chaum, an ophthalmologist and Plough Foundation professor of retinal diseases at the UT Health Science Center Hamilton Eye Institute in Memphis. Chaum and ORNL's Ken Tobin, partners in AMDx, led the team that developed a method for teaching computers to aid in the diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy and other blinding eye diseases.

The Web-based technology uses a digital camera that takes pictures of the retina at a primary care physician's office or other remote clinical site. The patient's medical data and retinal images are sent to a server and processed through the patented system that quickly sorts through large databases and finds visually similar images representing equivalent states of diabetic eye disease. This allows diagnoses to be made in seconds so patients will know before they leave the office if they have no eye disease or if they need to follow up with a retinal specialist. Conventional techniques require a patient to wait several days to receive results.

"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,"
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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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