AI Vision Test Improves Eyesight Test Accuracy

The classic eyesight test procedures are about to change thanks to the AI Vision test. The Snellen charts are in use for testing eye vision since 1862, where the patient reads the letters on the chart from top to bottom. The more accurate the patient reads till the bottom, the better is the eyesight score. Such testing depends on how accurate the patient reads. Today, however digital testing is also done. But there is an error chance especially when the patient tries to make guesses when the letter and digits start getting blurry. This can lead to different results every time the patient takes the test.

AI vision test
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To overcome these shortcomings in the classic eyesight testing methods, Stanford University scientists have proposed a vision test that works on Artificial Intelligence. Although digital tests and even online eye vision tests are not new AI has improved the accuracy of such online eyesight testing. The good thing is the patient is able to test vision at home.

Chris Piech, a scientist at Stanford University along with his colleagues has developed this online AI vision test. Chris Piech has suffered from an inflammatory eye disease, chronic uveitis, since childhood and is very much familiar with the old school Snellen chart testing and its inaccuracies. He says, “I was sitting through all these tests and it was pretty obvious to me that it was terribly inaccurate”. In his research paper, he says, “The ubiquitous eye exam has no mechanism for reasoning about uncertainty and as such, suffers from a well-documented reproducibility problem

Piech and his team have tried to improve eye vision testing and increase its accuracy. The user goes through a series of steps while attempting an online AI vision test. In the first step, users calibrate their screen. Each screen has a different resolution of pixels per inch. For accurate results, accurate units must be known by the software. For this step user puts a credit card on the box displayed on the screen. As every credit card has the same size, the pixels making up a credit card tell the software about pixels per inch on your screen. The second step requires entering your distance from the screen. The ideal distance is 20 feet. The third step asks how you want to connect to input answers. There are two options for connecting mobile or using a keyboard. In the next step, the user starts with eye testing, separately for each eye.

The test starts with displaying E in any one of the four orientations. Depending on the user’s answer, the AI algorithm predicts a score. As the user continues giving answers, an algorithm using statistics keeps adjusting and gives a better prediction. For each eye, there are 20 questions and take a few minutes to complete.

The researchers first used this software, Stanford acuity test (StAT), against 1000 computer simulations mimicking as human patients. The results showed a 74% reduced error as compared to the Snellen test and 67% error reduction as compared to the available digital testing.

AI Vision Test

Although the researchers have cautioned that the online AI vision test is not a replacement for your optician’s visit yet, they are optimistic about their project as being a gateway for advancement in eyesight testing procedure that is accurate and easily available. In Chris Piech’s words, “Our approach is incredibly accurate, easy to implement, and can even be used at home on a computer. With further input, we hope for this to be used as a foundation for revolutionizing visual acuity testing”.

Eye professionals are welcoming this idea of AI eye vision testing. Due to its accuracy and easy availability for everyone, it is an important step in improving health care through the latest technologies. Ophthalmologist at the Krieger Eye Institute, Laura Green, considers this research as an “intriguing idea”. She says, “I think that it would very quickly get adopted by over 80% of ophthalmology practices. We really are desperate to have some good way of doing this.”

Mark Blecher, an ophthalmologist in Philadelphia, “finds the idea definitely useful”. He further proposes that the system can be enhanced considering other factors while testing like room lighting, screen brightness, etc.

You can experience this AI eyesight test at All it takes is a credit card, a measuring tape, and a few minutes!

Artificial Intelligence is the technology of today and tomorrow. Every day it is bringing accuracy in traditional software and models. Every field is witnessing improvements and advancement whether it is business, finance, health, or fitness. We have been covering such breakthroughs every now and then. Have a read! Tell us what do you think?

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