Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of vision loss in the United States and globally, particularly among working-aged individuals. Diabetic retinopathy meets all the criteria for screening: first, the condition (diabetic retinopathy) is an important public health care problem; second, the epidemiology and natural history of the condition, including development from asymptomatic latent to severe disease, are adequately understood; third, the screening test (retinal photography) is simple, safe, validated, and acceptable; and fourth, an effective treatment (intravitreous injections of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor or laser therapy for severe diabetic retinopathy or diabetic macular edema [DME]) is available for patients identified through early detection. Diabetic retinopathy screening has long been recommended by the American Diabetes Association, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and many international societies.
Wong TY, Bressler NM. Artificial Intelligence With Deep Learning Technology Looks Into Diabetic Retinopathy Screening. JAMA. 2016;316(22):2366–2367. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.17563