Artificial intelligence is now being used to diagnose a common eye disease.

The device, called IDx-DR, uses software and a retinal camera to take images of a patient's retina. It then uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to evaluate the images and effectively diagnose diabetic retinopathy, a diabetes complication that can lead to blindness. Developers hope this new device will make it easier for patients to get diagnosed outside of a clinical environment, leading perhaps to catching the condition earlier.

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics became the first to use the new technology in June, according to reports from The Gazette newspaper.

Developed by medical diagnostics company IDx, the device analyzes the images to determine if a patient has tissue damage in the back of their eyes.

"It looks for different lesions like hemorrhages, microaneurysms, many other abnormalities you get from diabetes in the retina if it's abnormal, which is what I do when I look for a patient," Dr. Michael Abramoff, an ophthalmologist and president and director of IDx and UI Health Care, told the Gazette.