Using artificial intelligence to improve human performance: efficient retinal disease detection training with synthetic images

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Abstract

Background Artificial intelligence (AI) in medical imaging diagnostics has huge potential, but human judgement is still indispensable. We propose an AI-aided teaching method that leverages generative AI to train students on many images while preserving patient privacy. Methods A web-based course was designed using 600 synthetic ultra-widefield (UWF) retinal images to teach students to detect disease in these images. The images were generated by stable diffusion, a large generative foundation model, which we fine-tuned with 6285 real UWF images from six categories: five retinal diseases (age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment and retinal vein occlusion) and normal. 161 trainee orthoptists took the course. They were evaluated with two tests: one consisting of UWF images and another of standard field (SF) images, which the students had not encountered in the course. Both tests contained 120 real patient images, 20 per category. The students took both tests once before and after training, with a cool-off period in between. Results On average, students completed the course in 53 min, significantly improving their diagnostic accuracy. For UWF images, student accuracy increased from 43.6% to 74.1% (p<0.0001 by paired t-test), nearly matching the previously published state-of-the-art AI model’s accuracy of 73.3%. For SF images, student accuracy rose from 42.7% to 68.7% (p<0.0001), surpassing the state-of-the-art AI model’s 40%. Conclusion Synthetic images can be used effectively in medical education. We also found that humans are more robust to novel situations than AI models, thus showcasing human judgement’s essential role in medical diagnosis.

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APA

Tabuchi, H., Engelmann, J., Maeda, F., Nishikawa, R., Nagasawa, T., Yamauchi, T., … Bernabeu, M. O. (2024). Using artificial intelligence to improve human performance: efficient retinal disease detection training with synthetic images. British Journal of Ophthalmology. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjo-2023-324923

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