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INTRODUCTION: Inherited retinal diseases (IRD) are a leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in the working age population. Mutations in over 300 genes have been found to be associated with IRDs and identifying the affected gene in patients by molecular genetic testing is the first step towards effective care and patient management. However, genetic diagnosis is currently slow, expensive and not widely accessible. The aim of the current project is to address the evidence gap in IRD diagnosis with an AI algorithm, Eye2Gene, to accelerate and democratise the IRD diagnosis service. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The data-only retrospective cohort study involves a target sample size of 10 000 participants, which has been derived based on the number of participants with IRD at three leading UK eye hospitals: Moorfields Eye Hospital (MEH), Oxford University Hospital (OUH) and Liverpool University Hospital (LUH), as well as a Japanese hospital, the Tokyo Medical Centre (TMC). Eye2Gene aims to predict causative genes from retinal images of patients with a diagnosis of IRD. For this purpose, 36 most common causative IRD genes have been selected to develop a training dataset for the software to have enough examples for training and validation for detection of each gene. The Eye2Gene algorithm is composed of multiple deep convolutional neural networks, which will be trained on MEH IRD datasets, and externally validated on OUH, LUH and TMC. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This research was approved by the IRB and the UK Health Research Authority (Research Ethics Committee reference 22/WA/0049) 'Eye2Gene: accelerating the diagnosis of IRDs' Integrated Research Application System (IRAS) project ID: 242050. All research adhered to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki. Findings will be reported in an open-access format.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date





GENETICS, OPHTHALMOLOGY, STATISTICS & RESEARCH METHODS, Humans, Artificial Intelligence, Retrospective Studies, Retinal Diseases, Retina, Genetic Testing