New 2020 ADA Standards of Care Points to AI to Prevent Blindness

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By : dLife Editors

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) released a new set of clinical standards that for the first time include the use of autonomous artificial intelligence (AI).

The ADA’s 2020 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes states that “AI systems that detect more than mild diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema authorized for use by the FDA represent an alternative to traditional screening approaches.”

To date, IDx-DR is the first and only FDA-authorized autonomous AI diagnostic system for the detection of diabetic retinopathy and macular edema.

It is currently in use at a number of large health systems that each serves tens of thousands of people with diabetes and has struggled to implement diabetic retinopathy eye exams at scale for their large diabetes population.

“The ADA’s inclusion of our technology in its Standards of Care marks a significant move toward mainstream adoption of autonomous AI in clinical care,” said Dr. Michael Abramoff, founder, and executive chairman at IDx. “Our early customers are visionary leaders who foresaw that autonomous AI would one day become a standard of care for diabetic retinopathy screening, and taking that leap is paying off for them.”

The Standards of Care were published last week in Diabetes Care, the highest-ranked, peer-reviewed journal in the field of diabetes treatment and prevention. Physicians, healthcare systems, health insurers and quality of care organizations look to the ADA’s Standards of Care for consensus and evidence-based best practices to improve health outcomes for people with diabetes.

The Standards of Care published last week in Diabetes Care can be accessed here.

How Does IDx-DR Work?

IDx-DR is an FDA-authorized AI-based diagnostic system designed for use at the front lines of care to detect diabetic retinopathy and macular edema, common complications of diabetes and leading causes of blindness.

The exam typically takes 5-10 minutes. Operators use a robotic fundus camera to take pictures of the patient’s retinas – the back part of the eye, which are then analyzed by the autonomous AI’s algorithms for signs of diabetic retinopathy.

An immediate diagnostic report is produced at the point of care, allowing the physician to discuss the results with the patient while they are still in the office.


  1. IDx. (2019, December 23). 2020 ADA Standards of Care just arrived and now includes AI to prevent blindness. PR Newswire. Retrieved from