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07 Nov 2022

5th Jul 2021

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Shawn Huang Wei Zhong
MP for Jurong GRC

Question No. 649

To ask the Minister for Health with regard to the deployment of an artificial intelligence system called Selena+ in the screening of patients through eye scans (a) what has been the efficacy of the Selena+ system in screening diabetic patients; and (b) whether the Ministry will be embarking on further initiatives for an economical and accessible diabetic screening system for the public.

Written Answer

SELENA+ is a National AI pilot project that is being implemented in a few phases. During the first phase, a total of 38,215 patient cases at six polyclinincs had their retinal photographs processed by SELENA+ and the results were compared to the current image grading performed by non-physician technician readers.  Based on preliminary analysis, we found that the accuracy of SELENA+ in detecting vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma suspects and late stage age-related macular degeneration is comparable to current standard of care.

We have commenced the second phase of SELENA+ since December 2020, with the trial extended to an additional six polyclinics. In this phase, we will study if non-physical technician readers can better detect diabetic eye complications with the AI support. SELENA+ will also be evaluated for its potential to improve efficiency and consistency by automating the current grading process and transfer of digital retina images, for mild to moderate diabetic cases.

As diabetes may result in eye complications such as diabetic retinopathy, Singaporeans are encouraged to go for regular health checkups and follow ups. Adults above aged 40 are encouraged to go for regular screening for chronic illnesses, including diabetes. With subsidies under Screen for Life at all CHAS GPs, Singaporeans pay between $0 to $5 for each screening visit.  All diabetic patients are also recommended to be screened for eye complications annually. This is why we have made eye screening a subsidised core service to be provided for diabetic patients across all polyclinics as well as at GP clinics participating in the Primary Care Networks scheme.

MOH will continue to explore the possibility of using technology to improve quality and cost effectiveness of care.