This is how Google becomes a dermatologist’s best friend

Google is one of the most advanced companies when it comes to artificial intelligence. Mountain View regularly publishes new AI-based functions for its users. This week, during the I / O conference, the company unveiled a new artificial intelligence designed to help internet users spot skin problems.

When they have a health problem, the first instinct of many internet users is to search Google for symptoms. For its part, the company tries to highlight authoritative sources so that users don’t come across incorrect information.

And soon, when it comes to skin problems, Google will even offer an app that users can use to take photos of their skin and then receive answers. If this is possible, it is thanks to image processing as well as the numerous studies that Google has done in this area.

“Every year we see nearly ten billion Google searches related to skin, nail and hair problems. Two billion people around the world have skin problems, but there is a global shortage of specialists. Although the first step for many people is to access a Google search bar, it can be difficult just to describe what you see on your skin in words, ”says Mountain View.

The AI ​​that wants you to stay healthy

The new solution from Google will be presented as a web application. Once opened, the user will be asked to photograph their skin or hair from different angles. The site also asks the user to answer some questions (skin type, questions about other symptoms, etc.).

Google’s new AI identifies skin diseases. © Google

Google’s AI then analyzes all of this information based on its knowledge of 288 disorders or diseases and provides a list of possible problems that are identified. However, Google states that their tool is not intended to replace doctors.

“For each match condition, the tool displays dermatologist-verified information and answers to frequently asked questions, as well as similar matching images on the web. The tool is not intended to be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for medical advice, as many conditions require a clinician evaluation, personal exam, or additional testing such as a biopsy. Rather, we hope it gives you access to relevant information so that you can make a more informed decision about your next move, ”says Google. A pilot program will start this year.

According to Google, this new tool is the result of three years of research and product development. To validate its approach to the scientific community, the company states that several peer-reviewed articles have been published in prestigious journals.

Google was able to show that its system can achieve the precision of certified dermatologists in the USA. In addition, Google states that its AI has already been certified as a Class 1 medical device in the European Union (CE).

And while some artificial intelligences have been accused of being biased, Google affirms that this one is designed for everyone and takes into account factors like age, gender, or skin type. “We developed and refined our model using anonymized data that includes approximately 65,000 images and case data of diagnosed skin conditions, a collection of millions of images of skin problems, and thousands of examples of healthy skin – all in different populations,” the company explains.

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