February 26, 2024

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New Zealand Researchers Use Artificial Intelligence in Fight Against Glaucoma

In time for New Zealand’s Glaucoma Awareness Month this March, an ongoing study in New Zealand is becoming a potential gamechanger for the early detection of glaucoma by using  Artificial Intelligence (AI). This study is one of many research projects, supported by Glaucoma NZ, that is being undertaken by New Zealand researchers to try and save unnecessary sight loss for thousands of their countrymen. Many people have no idea that they even have glaucoma, which is why it’s commonly referred to as ‘the thief of sight’.

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. Most people experience no symptoms in the early stages and the only way to know if you have it is to have an eye test. Worldwide, there are about 20 million people that suffer from glaucoma — a number bound to increase to over 111 million by 2040.

Dr William Schierding and Professor Helen Danesh-Meyer are conducting the research. They are using machine learning to develop a revolutionary glaucoma risk score for individuals that better predicts the likelihood of developing glaucoma based on environmental and biological profiles. Machine Learning (ML) as a technology is more popularly called Artificial Intelligence (AI).

What makes this research groundbreaking is that it could pave the way forward for glaucoma prevention. Vision loss caused by glaucoma cannot be repaired, but further eyesight loss is preventable with early detection and treatment.

The research supported by Glaucoma NZ is one of the many ways that we help to reduce unnecessary eye loss due to glaucoma for New Zealanders. The invaluable information that research such as this provides will enable us to direct our limited resources into priority areas and provide benefits to those who need it most.

Professor Helen Danesh Meyer, Chairperson, Glaucoma NZ

Glaucoma New Zealand or Glaucoma NZ is a non-government funded charitable trust established in 2002 with a mission to eliminate blindness from glaucoma. In their drive – Glaucoma Awareness Month – this March, the organisation is highlighting the importance of prevention in the fight against glaucoma, educating New Zealanders about the disease, and promoting regular eye health checks for those aged over 45. Their annual Awareness Month kicked off on 1 March, with the highlight being World Glaucoma Awareness Week from 6 to 12 March.

Ministry of Health data shows about 2% of New Zealanders over 40 years of age have glaucoma. People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop the disease. Glaucoma is estimated to affect some 91,000 people in the nation. This makes it the second most common cause of blindness and low vision in New Zealanders over 65.

Moreover, the study could save thousands of people on the island from blindness. It is estimated that 50,000 New Zealanders are unknowingly living with glaucoma, one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness.

The game-changing research that uses AI is part of Glaucoma NZ’s Eye Believe campaign.  The group is asking the public to submit their ideas about what can be achieved with investment in glaucoma research and education. The public collaboration should generate more awareness into their drive to prevent glaucoma.

New Zealand NZ’s initiative to collaborate with the public is a reflection of its government’s digital transformation drive. As reported on OpenGov Asia, Wellington is finalising the nation’s digital strategy via the Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) by generating feedback from stakeholders which should include every citizen in the Pacific Island.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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