Johns Hopkins APL, Wilmer Eye Institute Get NIH Grant for Disease-Detection Tools

research-and-development-RDThe National Institutes of Health has awarded a grant to Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute for the development of tools that detect the onset of age-related macular degeneration.

The lab said Tuesday the research team will utilize machine learning and image analysis technology to detect lesions in the retina and facilitate treatment before the damage to vision becomes irreversible or substantial.

“It can be very difficult to identify who may be at risk for AMD-related vision loss because AMD has no impact on other parts of the body,” said Neil Bressler, chief of the retina division at the Wilmer Eye Institute.

“One thing that is needed is automated detection of the earlier stages of AMD that are easily accessible.”

JHU APL noted that the team will utilize NIH’s Age Related Eye Disease Study database of medical records and images to create algorithms for the tools that NIH plans to use to identify as many as 8 million people who display the earliest stages of AMD and refer them for treatment.

Bressler and APL’s Philippe Burlina are co-principal investigators on the project.

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