Towards implementation of AI in New Zealand national diabetic screening program: Cloud-based, robust, and bespoke

Li Xie, Song Yang, David Squirrell, Ehsan Vaghefi, Gianni Virgili
2020 PLoS ONE  
Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have become a prominent method of AI implementation in medical classification tasks. Grading Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) has been at the forefront of the development of AI for ophthalmology. However, major obstacles remain in the generalization of these CNNs onto real-world DR screening programs. We believe these difficulties are due to use of 1) small training datasets (<5,000 images), 2) private and 'curated' repositories, 3) locally implemented CNN
more » ... ation methods, while 4) relying on measured Area Under the Curve (AUC) as the sole measure of CNN performance. To address these issues, the public EyePACS Kaggle Diabetic Retinopathy dataset was uploaded onto Microsoft Azure™ cloud platform. Two CNNs were trained; 1 a "Quality Assurance", and 2. a "Classifier". The Diabetic Retinopathy classifier CNN (DRCNN) performance was then tested both on 'un-curated' as well as the 'curated' test set created by the "Quality Assessment" CNN model. Finally, the sensitivity of the DRCNNs was boosted using two post-training techniques. Our DRCNN proved to be robust, as its performance was similar on 'curated' and 'un-curated' test sets. The implementation of 'cascading thresholds' and 'max margin' techniques led to significant improvements in the DRCNN's sensitivity, while also enhancing the specificity of other grades.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0225015 pmid:32275656 fatcat:wxstxzj3wzhrxkcir7qk2z3oui