Diabetes has recently emerged as a worldwide problem, and diabetic retinopathy is an abnormal state associated with the human retina. Due to the increase in daily screen-related activities of modern human beings, diabetic retinopathy is more prevalent among adults, leading to minor and major blindness. Doctors and clinicians are unable to perform early diagnoses due to the large number of patients. To solve this problem, this study introduces a classification model for retinal images that distinguishes between the various stages of diabetic retinopathy. This work involves deploying deep and densely connected networks for retinal image analysis with training from scratch. Dense connections between the convolutional layers of the network are an essential factor to enhance accuracy owing to the deeper supervision between layers. Another factor is the growth rate that further assists our model in learning more sophisticated feature maps regarding retinal images from every stage of the network. We compute the area under the curve, sensitivity, and specificity, particularly for messidor-2 and EyePACS. Compared to existing approaches, our method achieved better results, with an approximate rise rate of 0.01, 0.03, and 0.01, respectively. Therefore, computer-aided programs can help in diagnostic centers as automated detection systems.
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