EyeScore: Predicting stroke reoccurrence through retinal scans

One in six deaths from cardiovascular disease is due to stroke. Caused by a blood clot in the brain, a stroke can have severe consequences, even minutes after initially occurring. That is what makes prevention so important. 

Now, thanks to NYU researchers, including a collaborative effort between NYU Assistant Professor S. Farokh Atashzar, and NYUAD Assistant Professor Farah Shamout, early monitoring may soon be available at an unlikely location: your eye doctor. 

Their project, called EyeScore, is developing a technology that uses non-invasive scans of the retina to predict the recurrence of stroke in patients. They use optical coherence tomography — a scan of the back of the retina — and track changes over time. The retina, attached directly to the brain through the optic nerve, can be used as an indicator for changes in the brain itself. 

Atashzar and Shamout are currently formulating their hybrid AI model, pinpointing the exact changes that can predict a stroke and recurrence of strokes. The outcome will be able to analyze these images and flag potentially troublesome developments. And since the scans are already in use in optometrist offices, this life-saving technology could be in the hands of medical professionals sooner than expected.