Detection, diagnosis, and treatment of ophthalmic diseases depend on extraction of information (features and/or their dimensions) from the images. Deep learning (DL) model are crucial for the automation of it. Here, we report on the development of a lightweight DL model, which can precisely segment/detect the required features automatically. The model utilizes dimensionality reduction of image to extract important features, and channel contraction to allow only the required high-level features necessary for reconstruction of segmented feature image. Performance of present model in detection of glaucoma from optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) images of retina is high (area under the receiver-operator characteristic curve AUC ~ 0.81). Bland–Altman analysis gave exceptionally low bias (~ 0.00185), and high Pearson’s correlation coefficient (p = 0.9969) between the parameters determined from manual and DL based segmentation. On the same dataset, bias is an order of magnitude higher (~ 0.0694, p = 0.8534) for commercial software. Present model is 10 times lighter than Unet (popular for biomedical image segmentation) and have a better segmentation accuracy and model training reproducibility (based on the analysis of 3670 OCTA images). High dice similarity coefficient (D) for variety of ophthalmic images suggested it’s wider scope in precise segmentation of images even from other fields. Our concept of channel narrowing is not only important for the segmentation problems, but it can also reduce number of parameters significantly in object classification models. Enhanced disease diagnostic accuracy can be achieved for the resource limited devices (such as mobile phone, Nvidia’s Jetson, Raspberry pi) used in self-monitoring, and tele-screening (memory size of trained model ~ 35 MB).
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