As an ophthalmologist with a passion for health IT, P. Lloyd Hildebrand, MD, FACS, has thought a lot about the use of artificial intelligence in clinical practice. So as he and his colleague, H. Jay Wisnicki, MD, delivered a talk on the subject earlier this month at AAO 2017, Hildebrand was fairly certain that he could predict what his audience’s biggest question would be.
“It’s usually something like, ‘Are machines going to replace us?’ And my answer is always the same,” says Hildebrand, professor emeritus in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Oklahoma. “This technology isn’t going to take away our jobs, it’s going to empower us and our profession. It’s going to make us better physicians, and it’s going to allow for better healthcare.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control
, as many as 50 percent of patients with diabetic retinopathy are not getting their eyes examined or are diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective.