Foresight: Charity-Led Big Data for Ophthalmology

Principal Investigator

Project Goals

Foresight will collect, aggregate, and share a first-in-class database of donated eye scans to enable early detection and next-generation treatment of retinal conditions `and beyond.

Project Summary

By leveraging a network of high-street opticians, Foresight will aggregate and share a database of sophisticated, information-rich eye scans from 500,000 healthy volunteers. Through an ethical, charity-led, patient-first access model, Foresight will make this Big Data resource available to academic and industrial scientists. This work will accelerate the AI-enabled discovery of novel biomarkers, diagnostics, and therapeutics across ophthalmologic, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative conditions. 

Eye scan data from healthy volunteers has never before been aggregated for research, creating a data gap that prevents the development of early biomarkers for diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD). By comparing asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic scans with diseased scans, algorithms can be developed to detect degenerative conditions prior to the severe late-stages. Our broad goal is to move from an inefficient "too-late" healthcare model to one focused on preserving health and longevity. 

After linking Foresight's eye scan data to anonymized, consented medical records, we expect that sophisticated AI-based interrogation of the Foresight dataset will accelerate the development of novel diagnostics, biomarkers, and even therapeutics across ophthalmologic, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative conditions. By donating eye scans and health data, participants in Foresight and, more broadly, UK's Our Future Health initiative, will help to create a future of personalized medicine built on early detection rather than late-stage firefighting of disease. 


First published on: January 05, 2023

Last modified on: June 16, 2024