Artificial Intelligence in Cornea, Refractive, and Cataract Surgery

Aazim A. Siddiqui; John G. Ladas; Jimmy K. Lee


Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2020;31(4):253-260. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Purpose of Review: The subject of artificial intelligence has recently been responsible for the advancement of many industries including aspects of medicine and many of its subspecialties. Within ophthalmology, artificial intelligence technology has found ways of improving the diagnostic and therapeutic processes in cornea, glaucoma, retina, and cataract surgery. As demands on the modern ophthalmologist grow, artificial intelligence can be utilized to help address increased demands of modern medicine and ophthalmology by adding to the physician's clinical and surgical acumen. The purpose of this review is to highlight the integration of artificial intelligence into ophthalmology in recent years in the areas of cornea, refractive, and cataract surgery.

Recent Findings: Within the realms of cornea, refractive, and cataract surgery, artificial intelligence has played a major role in identifying ways of improving diagnostic detection. In keratoconus, artificial intelligence algorithms may help with the early detection of keratoconus and other ectatic disorders. In cataract surgery, artificial intelligence may help improve the performance of intraocular lens (IOL) calculation formulas. Further, with its potential integration into automated refraction devices, artificial intelligence can help provide an improved framework for IOL formula optimization that is more accurate and customized to a specific cataract surgeon.

Summary: The future of artificial intelligence in ophthalmology is a promising prospect. With continued advancement of mathematical and computational algorithms, corneal disease processes can be diagnosed sooner and IOL calculations can be made more accurate.


The field of artificial intelligence has garnered significant attention in the recent years with its broad applications in a variety of industries and technology sectors, such as military, energy, automotive, aviation, and science and technology.[1] The introduction of artificial intelligence in the realm of medicine and ophthalmology is a potentially transformative concept. As the demands of modern medicine continue to grow, the utility of artificial intelligence can conceivably be harnessed to augment a physician's cognitive, decision-making, and surgical potential.[1]

Roots of artificial intelligence in medicine can be traced back to the 1970s when an increase in the demands of the healthcare industry, coupled with the expansion of medical knowledge, led to the notion of computer-guided assistance in diagnosis, management, and prognosis.[1] As the complexity of computational programming, hardware, and machine learning algorithms has advanced, so has the integration of artificial intelligence within medicine. Indeed, there exist a number of avenues within medicine and ophthalmology where artificial intelligence can make a major impact.[2]