The free application detects eye diseases in children over a year before the medical diagnosis

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Telephone as a diagnostic tool.

Smartphones can be something more than just a gadget for browsing social networking sites, taking a selfie or playing games. These devices can also assist in earlier detection of diseases. This is even emphasized by new research results published in the journal Science Advances.

Research was dedicated to the application CRADLE (Computer Assisted Detector of Leukoria), also known as White Eye Detector, which, as we can read in its description, allows the detection of an ophthalmic symptom called leukocoria by analyzing children's photos. This symptom consists in the appearance of a white pupil reflex instead of a normal red one at the moment of pupil illumination, and it may indicate the presence of retinoblastoma (malignant tumor), childhood cataract, Coats disease, and more.

CRADLE looks for early traces of leukocytes in children's photos, using machine learning algorithms. It seems that this system is highly effective, and the research mentioned above proves it.

As part of their experiments, a team of scientists tested the application using almost 53 thousand photos of 40 children. Half of the children had eye diseases and in 16 cases of these 20 the application noticed leukokoria in photographs, which arose on average 1.3 years before the medical diagnosis.

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With the help of CRADLE you can examine the eyes of both newborns and children already several years old. This age range is enjoyable because children, especially the youngest, are often unable to signal that they have vision problems.

Of course, the application may not be an attitude to make a diagnosis, but its existence can contribute to saving many lives. This may, in fact, lead many parents to go to the doctor much, much sooner than in another situation, and thus lead to an earlier diagnosis by the doctor. For all malignancies, diagnosis as early as possible is important, and especially for retinoblastoma. This can metastasize to the brain as early as 6 months after the detection of leukocytes.

Source: Science advances