Diabetic eye disease (DED) is a leading cause of blindness in the world. Early detection and treatment of DED have been shown to be both sight-saving and cost-effective. As such, annual testing for DED is recommended for adults with diabetes and is a Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measure. However, adherence to this guideline has historically been low, and access to this sightsaving intervention has particularly been limited for specific populations, such as Black or African American patients. In 2018, the US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) De Novo cleared autonomous artificial intelligence (AI) for diagnosing DED in a primary care setting. In 2020, Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), an integrated healthcare system with over 30 primary care sites, began deploying autonomous AI for DED testing in some of its primary care clinics. In this retrospective study, we aimed to determine whether autonomous AI implementation was associated with increased adherence to annual DED testing, and whether this was different for specific populations. JHM primary care sites were categorized as “non-AI” sites (sites with no autonomous AI deployment over the study period and where patients are referred to eyecare for DED testing) or “AI-switched” sites (sites that did not have autonomous AI testing in 2019 but did by 2021). We conducted a difference-in-difference analysis using a logistic regression model to compare change in adherence rates from 2019 to 2021 between non-AI and AI-switched sites. Our study included all adult patients with diabetes managed within our health system (17,674 patients for the 2019 cohort and 17,590 patients for the 2021 cohort) and has three major findings. First, after controlling for a wide range of potential confounders, our regression analysis demonstrated that the odds ratio of adherence at AI-switched sites was 36% higher than that of non-AI sites, suggesting that there was a higher increase in DED testing between 2019 and 2021 at AI-switched sites than at non-AI sites. Second, our data suggested autonomous AI improved access for historically disadvantaged populations. The adherence rate for Black/African Americans increased by 11.9% within AI-switched sites whereas it decreased by 1.2% within non-AI sites over the same time frame. Third, the data suggest that autonomous AI improved health equity by closing care gaps. For example, in 2019, a large adherence rate gap existed between Asian Americans and Black/African Americans (61.1% vs. 45.5%). This 15.6% gap shrank to 3.5% by 2021. In summary, our real-world deployment results in a large integrated healthcare system suggest that autonomous AI improves adherence to a HEDIS measure, patient access, and health equity for patients with diabetes – particularly in historically disadvantaged patient groups. While our findings are encouraging, they will need to be replicated and validated in a prospective manner across more diverse settings.