Artificial intelligence has the potential to help doctors care for patients and treat diseases, including improving breast cancer screening and helping to detect TB more efficiently.
Google announced during its annual developer conference a new artificial intelligence dermatology aid that can help anyone with a smartphone to obtain more information about common skin diseases.
According to Google, the project has been in operation for three years and hopes to launch it as a pilot program later this year.
The tool is a web-based application that you use with your smartphone’s camera, and after taking three pictures of your skin, hair or nails from different angles, you are asked to answer questions about your skin type, the problem you are currently facing, and any symptoms you may have.
The AI model, built on knowledge of 288 circumstances, analyzes the information you provided and gives you a list of potential matches.
Results are based on information reviewed by dermatologists, answers to frequently asked questions, and similar images from search results.
According to Google, the AI model takes into account age, gender, ethnicity, skin types, and other factors that can affect results.
Given that hair, skin, and nails make up the largest organ in the body, it is understandable why Google is expanding its health monitoring efforts with a tool like this one.
And like most other consumer-facing health technologies, the tool is not intended to replace a visit to your doctor or provide diagnoses, but rather is designed to give you more reliable information based on the images you provide and the more detailed questions you answer.
In addition, Google announced a separate artificial intelligence tool that helps identify potential TB patients for follow-up tests.
Building on the company’s current work in medical imaging, the screening tool uses a deep learning system that can identify potential TB patients based on chest X-rays.
As with the dermatology aid tool, Google built the TB model drawing on anonymous data from nine countries to account for a wide range of ethnicities.
Using a tool like this could help save up to 80 percent of the cost for each positive TB case detected.
Google continues to develop its TB screening tool later this year through two new research studies. As for the dermatological aid tool, those interested in early access can sign up here.