A database of retinal fundus images, the DR HAGIS database, is presented. This database consists of 39 high-resolution color fundus images obtained from a diabetic retinopathy screening program in the UK. The NHS screening program uses service providers that employ different fundus and digital cameras. This results in a range of different image sizes and resolutions. Furthermore, patients enrolled in such programs often display other comorbidities in addition to diabetes. Therefore, in an effort to replicate the normal range of images examined by grading experts during screening, the DR HAGIS database consists of images of varying image sizes and resolutions and four comorbidity subgroups: collectively defined as the diabetic retinopathy, hypertension, age-related macular degeneration, and Glaucoma image set (DR HAGIS). For each image, the vasculature has been manually segmented to provide a realistic set of images on which to test automatic vessel extraction algorithms. Modified versions of two previously published vessel extraction algorithms were applied to this database to provide some baseline measurements. A method based purely on the intensity of images pixels resulted in a mean segmentation accuracy of 95.83% (±0.67%), whereas an algorithm based on Gabor filters generated an accuracy of 95.71% (±0.66%).
Though developed out of physics and optics, the optometric profile in the UK has shifted towards a healthcare professional. As a result, optometry students are now stretched between numerous courses as diverse as microbiology, legal aspects related to practice, mathematics, vision or pharmacology. The importance of optics is still affirmed by regulating bodies and universities worldwide, but many students, particularly those with a relatively weak background in mathematics and physics, question the relevance of this teaching and engage reluctantly with this topic. In order to evaluate the importance of optics as part of the optometry curriculum, to improve the satisfaction of our students and to best suit their needs as future Optometrists, we first reviewed the place of optics in the optometry curricula across Europe. It appears that there are two main divisions: some have adopted a biomedical focus, well illustrated by UK universities while others have adopted a more optics/physics emphasis as in some German program. In addition to this review, we carried out a survey among Manchester Optometry alumni asking them how relevant they consider the classic teaching in optics (geometrical, physical and visual optics) to be to their subsequent career. The results of this survey will be discussed in detail. It appears that though predominantly favourable and against a reduction in the amount of optics taught, a relatively large percentage is in favour of a reduction and consider that what they learnt during their studies has not been useful to them professionally (over 20% for geometrical optics). In this context, a solution could be to increase the profile of the different professional opportunities available to graduates (optics, marketing, customer service, etc.). The simplest solution is however to take advantage of the wonderful potential of relevant optometric situations for the teaching of the fundamental optical principles. To conclude this presentation, we give a number of examples of how optometric applications can be used to introduce all the main optical phenomena.