Harvard Glaucoma Fairness: A Retinal Nerve Disease Dataset for Fairness Learning and Fair Identity Normalization

Yan Luo, Yu Tian, Min Shi, Louis R. Pasquale, Lucy Q. Shen, Nazlee Zebardast, Tobias Elze, Mengyu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fairness (also known as equity interchangeably) in machine learning is important for societal wellbeing, but limited public datasets hinder its progress. Currently, no dedicated public medical datasets with imaging data for fairness learning are available, though minority groups suffer from more health issues. To address this gap, we introduce Harvard Glaucoma Fairness (Harvard-GF), a retinal nerve disease dataset including 3,300 subjects with both 2D and 3D imaging data and balanced racial groups for glaucoma detection. Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness globally with Blacks having doubled glaucoma prevalence than other races. We also propose a fair identity normalization (FIN) approach to equalize the feature importance between different identity groups. Our FIN approach is compared with various state-of-the-art fairness learning methods with superior performance in the racial, gender, and ethnicity fairness tasks with 2D and 3D imaging data, demonstrating the utilities of our dataset Harvard-GF for fairness learning. To facilitate fairness comparisons between different models, we propose an equity-scaled performance measure, which can be flexibly used to compare all kinds of performance metrics in the context of fairness. The dataset and code are publicly accessible via https://ophai.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-gf3300/.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages1
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • AI for Eye Disease Screening
  • Biomedical imaging
  • Data models
  • Equitable Deep Learning
  • Fairness Learning
  • Finance
  • Glaucoma
  • Measurement
  • Medical services
  • Three-dimensional displays


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