Science and Research
Artificial intelligence research
CERA scientists are at the forefront of artificial intelligence research, developing and applying innovative technologies to detect and better understand eye disease.
Artificial intelligence – computer programs that are trained to learn and complete tasks that would usually require human intelligence – is playing an increasingly significant role in research innovation at CERA.
Powerful imaging technologies combined with deep learning algorithms are transforming our ability to screen for eye diseases, with some new tools now able to analyse images of the retina at least as well as doctors.
One key project at CERA is the development of an AI screening tool that can detect signs of common eye diseases in seconds, with a high degree of accuracy. This would allow preliminary eye health screening to be done in a wider range of health settings, such as in GP clinics or by health workers in remote communities.
CERA researchers are also using AI technologies to predict the progression of age-related macular degeneration, analyse the retina for early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, and facilitate early diagnosis of keratoconus, among other innovative projects.
Why this research is important
Artificial intelligence is changing the future landscape of medicine and medical research, and ophthalmology is at the forefront.
CERA researchers are demonstrating that AI technologies have the potential to make eye screening more accessible and convenient for patients, and to help doctors predict the progression of eye disease.
This could allow for more cost-effective care, reduce stressful workloads for clinicians, and provide more flexibility and empowerment for patients. It can also play a vital role in helping to close the gap in eye health care, bringing services to remote communities where access to eye specialists is often scarce.
Associate Professor Peter van Wijngaarden
Associate Professor Peter van Wijngaarden is an ophthalmologist and medical scientist with research interests in diabetic retinopathy, Alzheimer’s disease and retinal imaging biomarker discovery. He has research experience in retinal vascular biology and central nervous system regeneration.