Pearse Keane

Dr Pearse Keane

Consultant Ophthalmologist, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Associate Professor, Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL

Pearse is a retinal specialist at Moorfields Eye Hospital and a NIHR clinician scientist at the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of AMD and other complex macular diseases, and his research is focused on the application of new technologies to ophthalmology – from AI, to virtual reality, to advanced imaging. In 2016, Pearse was responsible for initiating the collaboration between Moorfields and Google DeepMind, with the aim of applying machine learning to OCT image analysis and in 2015, he was awarded a “Clinician Scientist” award from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) – the first ophthalmologist in the UK to receive such an honour. He predicts that the combination of AI with comprehensive, automated eye examination using binocular OCT will reinvent the eye examination for the 21st Century.

In 2020 Pearse was awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship for his project entitled, “Enabling the Development and Application of AI in the NHS”. Pearse believes that AI has the potential to transform healthcare and both the UK – and ophthalmology – can lead the way.


Listen to Pearse talk about how he came to collaborate with DeepMind to use deep learning to identify age-related macular degeneration (AMD); the importance of working with industry to bring benefits to patients; and what the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship means to his work, which explores the development and application of AI in the NHS. Or you can read the interview here.

Ep9: Using Deep Learning to Detect Retinal Disease with Pearse Keane

Reinventing Ophthalmology through the Application of Artificial Intelligence

Ophthalmology is among the most technology-driven of the all the medical specialties, with treatments utilizing high-spec medical lasers and advanced microsurgical techniques, and diagnostics involving ultra-high resolution imaging. Ophthalmology is also at the forefront of many trailblazing research areas in healthcare, such as stem cell therapy, gene therapy, and — most recently — artificial intelligence. In July 2016, Moorfields announced a formal collaboration with one of the world’s leading artificial intelligence companies, DeepMind.

In my presentation, I will describe the motivation — and urgent need — to apply deep learning to ophthalmology, the processes required to establish a research collaboration between the NHS and a company like DeepMind, the initial results of our research, and finally, why I believe that ophthalmology could be first branch of medicine to be fundamentally reinvented through the application of artificial intelligence.

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