The research program of the Retinal Image Analysis group is aimed at the development and exploitation of computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) algorithms for early detection of multiple systemic diseases from optical imaging of the retina. This field recently receives much attention, for its cost effectiveness, high resolution, its wide availability and suitability for screening and big-data analysis. As the retina is brain tissue, its biomarkers are also exploited for CAD of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.
The research group is well-known for its development and application of brain-inspired algorithms. Modern insights in functionality of our visual system at the cellular and circuit level are driving the mathematical solutions (‘vision for vision’). The methods often outperform the state-of-the-art, due to insight in contextual perceptual mechanisms, self-organization and big-data statistics. The group collaborates with the TU/e Math Department and IST/e. The annual and national course ‘Front-End Vision’ reflects the research.
The group leads a large Sino-Dutch screening project, ‘RetinaCheck’ for early detection of diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases in North-East China. Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in China, now 11.6%, and is a leading cause of blindness. The group collaborates with the Maastricht Study, and many renowned institutes worldwide.