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Silicon chips and saving people’s eyesight are ORNL researcher’s legacy


Research involving artificial intelligence (AI) – performed in the late 1990s by Ken Tobin and others at Oak Ridge National Laboratory – is behind technology now being used at a drug store chain’s health care clinics to provide sight-saving telemedical diagnoses to hundreds of thousands of diabetic patients. Tobin became involved in the automated diagnosis of eye diseases when Lee Riedinger, who spent many years at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville as a physicist and research director, worked early this century as the deputy director of science and technology at ORNL. Riedinger invited health care professionals to the lab from the UT Health Science Center in Memphis. That’s how Tobin met Edward Chaum of the center’s Hamilton Eye Institute.

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