HKU Medical Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Programme employs AI as new testing ground

new testing ground for more optimal and efficient clinical practice of eye diseases


(From left to right) Dr. Jasper Wong, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, HKUMed; Professor Michael D. Kuo, Director of Medical Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Programme, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, HKUMed; Professor Pek-Lan Khong, Head of Department, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, HKUMed; Dr. Vince Vardhanabhuti, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, HKUMed.

(From left to right) Dr. Jasper Wong, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, HKUMed; Professor Michael D. Kuo, Director of Medical Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Programme, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, HKUMed; Professor Pek-Lan Khong, Head of Department, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, HKUMed; Dr. Vince Vardhanabhuti, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, HKUMed.

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The Department of Diagnostic Radiology, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (HKUMed), is pleased to announce that its Medical Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Programme (MAIL) will pilot an Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) healthcare research study through a series of innovative and prospective clinical AI trials.

In collaboration with Ping An International Smart City Technology Co., Ltd., MAIL will utilise its broad AI expertise and resources to design and execute the clinical trials, recruit patients, and perform data analysis for clinical validation and evaluation of the broad clinical impact of Ping An’s optical coherence tomography (OCT) and Fundoscopy AI systems on patient workflow and decision making. Both the AI OCT and Fundoscopy systems are screening and referral systems for eye diseases that employ AI trained on input from clinical experts, with each AI tool capturing important but different clinical information.

This study is unique in that it is designed to address several “firsts” for medical AI studies in the prospective clinical trials to: (1) use OCT and Fundoscopy AI ophthalmology systems in tandem to capture both OCT and Fundoscopy patient data in a single patient visit, consistent with and more reflective of what happens in actual clinical practice, as opposed to usage of a single AI tool, (2) then clinically validate each AI system’s individual performance in this clinical setting against actual ophthalmologists; and (3) lead to better understanding of the impact of these AI systems on patient management workflow.

The research project commenced on May 29, 2019, and continues through April 2020. The project initially involves 500 patients, with continuous enrollment of consenting subjects.

About the project team and its partner

The research project is led by principal investigator and Director of MAIL, Professor Michael D. Kuo, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, HKUMed; Dr. Vince Vardhanabhuti, Clinical Assistant Professor of Department of Diagnostic Radiology, HKUMed, serves as the site principal investigator; and Dr. Jasper Wong, Clinical Assistant Professor of Department of Ophthalmology, HKUMed, serves as the ophthalmology site principal investigator. This AI research programme is supported by Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd., and its subsidiary Ping An International Smart City Technology Co., Ltd.