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2 students develop early blindness detecting software

Posted by jtsmyth8 on March 12, 2008

2 polytechnic students have successfully developed a software that helps doctors detect blindness early. The pair from Ngee Ann Polytechnic were among six winning teams which walked away with $500 each at the Polytechnic Student Research Programme on Tuesday.

Miss Melissa Tan and teammate Gracielynne Flores, both 20, based their research on 200 retinal scans from patients at the National University of Hospital.

The software automatically identifies and classifies various stages of the progressive disease – from mild to prolific, the most severe stage – allowing clinicians to give a more accurate diagnosis.

Further trials may be carried out at the hospital soon.

It took three months of intensive reading to prepare for the project said team member, said Miss Flores.

‘We didn’t know anything about it in the beginning, but that’s where the challenge lies,’ she said.

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition where the retina, which functions in a similar fashion to film in a camera, is damaged due to fluid leaking from blood vessels. In extreme cases, the patient will become blind. (story)

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