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Professional Arena

 

Introducing the latest Gordon Sanderson scholar


 
Fourth year medical student Waldir Rodrigues De Souza Jr from the University of Otago, was introduced as the latest Gordon Sanderson scholar at the 2019 RANZCO NZ conference for his research into applying artificial intelligence (AI) to detect glaucoma. 

De Souza said the award was an honour. “I am keenly aware of how blessed I was to be given the chance to engage in world leading research alongside Professor Helen DaneshMeyer and Dr Sheng Chiong Hong. Using artificial intelligence to detect glaucoma is amazing and possible, but it is just the beginning.” 
 
Like others around the world Dr Souza’s research focused on training a deep learning algorithm to detect glaucoma, which the team achieved with ‘exciting sensitivity and specificity,’ he said. “We used three image modalities to train our convoluted neural network: colour disc photos, visual fields, and optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans. Out of these, the AI performed the best using OCTs. With a single central slice of the optic nerve head, the algorithm was able to correctly detect eyes with glaucoma 92.6% of the time and eyes without glaucoma 95.2% of the time.”
 
The scholarship is awarded annually by Glaucoma NZ to an optometry or medical trainee from the universities of Otago, Sydney or Auckland for research or education relating to glaucoma. 
 
GNZ thanks all our generous donors, including the OSNZ Post Graduate Fund for its significant contribution to create this lasting legacy in Gordon’s memory,” said Prof Danesh-Meyer, GNZ Chair, presenting the award to De Souza. 


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