How Did Digital Diagnostics Come About?
Digital Diagnostics is the brainchild of Dr. Michael Abramoff. During his training to become an ophthalmologist and retina specialist, he saw that patients with diabetic retinopathy were coming to see him when the disease was already too advanced for them to receive optimal treatment.
“This is so inefficient,” he thought. “There has to be a better way.”
Given his background in machine learning, neuroscience and software development, Dr. Abramoff theorized that a computer might be able to help these patients get diagnosed at an earlier stage when effective treatment was still possible. He began to invent computer algorithms that could create a technology that mimics how clinicians like him make their diagnoses.
From the Beginning of His Career
Dr. Abramoff realized the enormous potential for an “Autonomous AI”, which makes a diagnosis without human oversight, to improve quality of care and patient access while lowering cost.
Creating the novel technology that Dr. Abramoff had envisioned required special consideration regarding the safety and equity involved in trusting a computer rather than a doctor to make a diagnosis. Ensuring that patients, physicians and the public would trust and accept autonomous AI meant it was crucial to approach the creation of such technology with a focus on developing.
This led to the founding of what would eventually become Digital Diagnostics’ ethical principles: to maximize the safety, efficacy, and equity of autonomous AI.
Thanks to those principles, and the dedication of Dr. Abramoff and his team, today the automated diabetic retinopathy diagnostic solution he had envisioned years ago is a fully developed product called IDx-DR, which has been authorized by the FDA for use in clinical care. Now part of the American Diabetes Association’s Standard of Diabetes care, it is currently being used to detect diabetic retinopathy and help prevent blindness in dozens of locations around the globe.
Dr. Abramoff continues to push boundaries and is a pioneer for a future where ethics, technology and innovation meet to transform the quality, accessibility, and affordability of global healthcare through the automation of medical diagnosis and treatment.