Advanced Retinal Therapy-2017 specialist conference characterised by the digital developments in personalised medicine reported that digital scan of the eye provides an accurate picture of a person’s general medical condition, facilitates early diagnosis and treatment and makes for transparent patients.

In future, it will be possible for doctors to make an on-the-spot diagnosis of diabetes from the eye, using the first automated digital retinal screening technique, without the help of an ophthalmologist.

Using optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology, 40,000 scans are produced within 1.2 seconds, with a total volume of 65 million voxels. The term voxel is a contraction of volume and element and refers to a grid point in a three-dimensional grid and overall to a huge volume of information about a patient's retina.

The OCT data are analysed using automated algorithms generated on the basis of Artificial Intelligence. A digital image of the retina provides us with an enormous amount of data, offering information about a person's entire personal and medical Life Data.

The digital image provides information about existing or potential diseases as well as about lifestyle. For example, the retina shows how old a person is, their gender, smoking habits, blood pressure and whether they have diabetes, or at least an increased risk of developing it.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are very common conditions and, in many patients, result in long-term retinal damage. It will be possible to obtain a much more accurate picture of the patients' general health by incorporating the new technologies into clinical care.

Thus, it will be able to offer them individual information and advice but also customised treatments. The innovative approach represents a further important step towards the better comprehensive care of the rapidly increasing number of diabetics.

Moreover, it might be possible in future to detect diseases of internal organs, such as the kidneys, or age-related problems and neurological diseases from the retina with the aid of the new technologies.

A large number of digital techniques are already being used in the management of eye conditions with the aim to improve standards of ophthalmological care. Digital retinal scanning is an additional revolutionary step in this direction. However, it also opens up a whole universe of potential applications, far beyond purely medical ones.