Artificial intelligence matches experts at detecting eye diseases: researchers

An artificial intelligence system that can recommend the correct referral decision for over 50 eye diseases as accurately as world-leading experts has been developed by researchers at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation TrustDeepMind Health and UCL.

The breakthrough research, published online on 13 August by Nature Medicine, describes how machine-learning technology has been successfully trained on thousands of historic de-personalised eye scans to identify features of eye disease and recommend how patients should be referred for care.

The researchers said they hoped that the technology could one day transform the way professionals carry out eye examinations, allowing them to spot conditions earlier and prioritise patients with the most-serious eye diseases before irreversible damage sets in.
“The number of eye scans we’re performing is growing at a pace much faster than human experts are able to interpret them. There is a risk that this may cause delays in the diagnosis and treatment of sight-threatening diseases, which can be devastating for patients,” Dr Pearse Keane, MD, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and NIHR clinician scientist at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, said.

“The artificial-intelligence technology we’re developing is designed to prioritise patients who need to be seen and treated urgently by a doctor or eye-care professional.

“If we can diagnose and treat

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By | August 27th, 2018|Research|

Contact lens lodged inside woman’s eyelid 28 years ago 

A 42-year-old women who was hit in the face by a shuttlecock during a game of badminton as a teen 28 years ago has had found a contact-lens lodged inside her left eye at the time.
Doctors assumed the contact lens had been dislodged and was forever but in aturn of events, they have now found the contact lens.
Ophthalmologists say it migrated to her eyelid, where it has been since she was 14; she thought the lens had simply fallen out of her eye.

Unbeknown to the woman, who from Dundee, Scotland, the lens nestled its way into her eyelid after the incident.

The lens came to light after the woman complained to her GP of swelling on her left upper eyelid, which had been drooping for around half a year

Ophthalmologists conducted a series of tests on a tender lump on her eyelid, which they assumed was just a run-of-the-mill cyst.

But surgeons at Ninewells Hospital & Medical School were discovered the lump actually contained an intact contact lens.

The team were intrigued by their discovery and published it in it a medical journal.

Writing in BMJ Case Reports, they said there have been four other reported cases of contact-lens migration because of trauma to the eye.

“This case report

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By | August 27th, 2018|Misadventure|

Health minister loses bid to be deputy, but keeps portfolio in reshuffle

Federal health minister Greg Hunt lost his bid to become deputy leader of the federal Liberal Party on 24 August in an election held for the position after a failed coup by members of the party’s hard right.

Mr Hunt survived a reshuffle of portfolios by the prime minister on 25 August, remaining minister for health.

He was one of five MPs who had lied to parliament and declared they supported the former prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, a day after voting against him in a spill and a day before voting against the then PM again.

All five wanted conspirator Peter Dutton, not the successful Scott  Morrison.

By | August 27th, 2018|People|

NIB health fund’s share-price soars

The share price of private health insurance fund NIB soared by 9.2 per cent to $6.26 on 13 August after it lifted its earnings guidance thanks to a “benign” claims environment.

Also, growth in its membership, especially among international workers and students.

NIB is now expecting underlying operating profit of about $184 million for the 2018 financial year, above its previous forecast of $165 million.

The managing director of NIB, Mr Mark Fitzgibbon, said the company’s previous guidance was premised on Australian residents health insurance  business net margin towards the upper end of its 5 per cent to 6 per cent target range but it now expected it to be closer to 6.9 per  cent.

The company’s full-year results will be published next week.

By | August 27th, 2018|Business|

MDFA’s macular degeneration education sessions up to November

The Macular Degeneration Foundation of Australia has announced the dates and venues of its education sessions up to November. They are:

  • TweedHeads, NSW: 28 August, South Tweed Sports Club.
  • Coffs Harbour, NSW: 4 September, C.ex Coffs.
  • Nambucca Heads, NSW: 5 September, Nambucca Heads RSL.
  • Central Coast, NSW: 10 September, Terrigal Uniting Church.
  • Brisbane, Qld: 13 October, Geebung RSL Club.
  • Brisbane, Qld: 15 October, Queensland Eye Institute.
  • Maroochydore, Qld: 16 October, Maroochydore RSL Club.
  • Noosa, Qld: 17 October, Villa Noosa.
  • Hobart, Tas: 3 November, Grand Chancellor Hotel.
  • Newcastle, NSW: 12 November, Belmont 16s.
  • Maitland,NSW: 13 November, Maitland Leagues Club.

Bookings: 1800 111 709.

By | August 27th, 2018|Diary Dates|

Ulysses comments …

 

Canberra capers

Last week’s capers in Canberra have come to a merciful end, with a new prime minister elected by his party members after his predecessor quit for a more-sane life.

We’ll have to wait to see if the new PM has left behind the cruelty that he and the MP who kicked off last week’s failed coup shared as immigration and home affairs ministers respectively– i.e. the ill-treatment of asylum seekers.

Hopefully he has, however both the federal government and the opposition have shown no signs of rectifying such treatment.

Odds are he hasn’t.

 

The best comment

The best comment on the hard right’s failed coup came from former senator Amanda Vanstone: “It takes a special kind of stupidity to organise a coup that you don’t win.”

 

A universal health scheme?

When the original Medibank health-care scheme was introduced way back in 1975 (becoming Medicare in 1984), it was described as a ‘universal health scheme’ which would be in reach of everybody, with ‘gaps’ between fees and benefits payable kept to a minimum.

The medical profession kicked up a fuss, regarding it as the end of mankind as we knew it, even though there was no restriction on what fees could be charged by medicos and benefits paid for their medical services – apart from the usual constraints

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By | August 27th, 2018|Comment|

$2m allocated for Aboriginal and Torres Strait people’s prescription glasses

The federal government has allocated $2 million to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with easier access to affordable prescription glasses.

Health minister Mr Greg Hunt said the investment would allow Vision 2020 Australia to work with state and territory governments to streamline, standardise and improve their schemes that provide subsidised glasses to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

‘Current arrangements can make it difficult to obtain affordable glasses’

“There are inconsistencies in current arrangements which can make it difficult for many of our these people to get affordable glasses,” Mr Hunt said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have three times the rate of vision impairment and blindness as compared to non-Indigenous Australians.

“That is totally unacceptable, especially when almost two-thirds of impaired eyesight can be corrected by prescription glasses.”

Indigenous health minister Mr Ken Wyatt said introducing a nationally-consistent system to simplify and ensure better access to affordable glasses would significantly improve people’s vision and overall quality of life.

‘Significant barrier to education and employment’

“Not only does poor vision adversely affect a person’s general wellbeing, it can be a significant barrier to education and employment, and can restrict a person’s mobility and social interaction,” Mr Wyatt said.

“The cost of prescription glasses often deters Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from visiting an optometrist to

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By | August 12th, 2018|People|

AMA submits revised Code of Conduct to Medical Board

The Australian Medical Association has submitted a revised draft Code of Conduct to the Medical Board of Australia – Good Medical Practice: A Code of Conduct for Doctors in Australia (2018).

The president of the AMA, Dr Tony Bartone, said on 7 August the document is “very important” for the medical profession and for patients, and that all doctors must have the opportunity and ample time to consider any changes, even minor changes, to the Code.

“It is of the utmost importance and necessity that the board ensures all doctors are aware of these public consultations, and have sufficient time to respond, as they are the ones legally subject to the provisions of the board’s codes and guidelines,” Dr Bartone said.

“We note the board has now extended the public consultation until 17 August 2018.

“The format of the code – both the current code and the draft revised code – contains a combination of clear, explicit statements intermingled with vague, ambiguous ‘motherhood’ statements.

“The clear, explicit statements provide doctors with sufficient guidance to meet the expected standards of ethical and professional conduct, but the more ambiguous statements do not, making it extremely difficult and distressing for doctors who are then unsure how to fulfil their obligations under the code.

“It is vital that the board

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By | August 12th, 2018|Associations|

MDFA announces macular degeneration education sessions up to November

The Macular Degeneration Foundation of Australia has announced the dates and venues of its education sessions up to November. They are:

  • Taree,NSW: 14 August, Club Taree.
  • Port Macquarie, NSW: 15 August, Port Macquarie Race Club.
  • Forster,NSW: 16 August, Club Forster.
  • Gold Coast, Qld: 27 August, Southport Community Centre
  • Tweed Heads, NSW: 28 August, South Tweed Sports Club.
  • Coffs Harbour, NSW: 4 September, C.ex Coffs.
  • Nambucca Heads, NSW: 5 September, Nambucca Heads RSL.
  • Central Coast, NSW: 10 September, Terrigal Uniting Church.
  • Brisbane, Qld: 13 October, Geebung RSL Club.
  • Brisbane, Qld: 15 October, Queensland Eye Institute.
  • Maroochydore, Qld: 16 October, Maroochydore RSL Club.
  • Noosa, Qld: 17 October, Villa Noosa.
  • Hobart, Tas: 3 November, Grand Chancellor Hotel.
  • Newcastle, NSW: 12 November, Belmont 16s.
  • Maitland,NSW: 13 November, Maitland Leagues Club.

Bookings: 1800 111 709.       

By | August 12th, 2018|Conference|

How Bill and Melinda Gates see the world over the next 15 years

Bill and Melinda Gates have outlined their vision of what the world will look like 15 years from now, and it is confidently optimistic, The Washington Postreports.

According to the Gateses, the number of children dying before the age of five will be cut in half; polio, guinea worm and river blindness will be wiped off the face of the Earth; and the African continent will be able to feed itself.

‘State of the Union’

The couple announced those goals in their foundation’s annual letter – which over the years has become a sort of ‘State of the Union’ for the development world and has become influential in shaping the agendas and framing the debates for the greater global aid and health communities.

In a joint interview with his wife before the letter was released, reported by The Washington Post,Bill Gates said he hopes their foundation’ new commitments will serve as a catalyst in the coming years for other work that ensures every person on the planet has his or her basic needs met.

“Does that kid have a chance to have a good education? To not suffer from malnutrition? These are the primary issues we’re trying to point resources at,” Mr Gates said.

“While philanthropy provides only a small fraction of the money going toward

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By | August 12th, 2018|Health|