Dermatology Assist: a new smart tool from Google

Google has unveiled a new “smart” tool that uses artificial intelligence to help detect possible damage to skin, hair and nails based on photos of their bodies taken by the user.

The tool will help in self-diagnosis of various diseases, from acne to melanoma, and will allow patients to quickly contact a dermatologist for treatment.

Dermatology Assist, presented at the annual Google I / O conference, will be available later this year. According to the BBC and the Financial Times, the app has already been approved for use as a medical instrument in Europe, but has not yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The new tool can recognize 288 skin conditions, but it does not eliminate the need for medical diagnosis and treatment. It took three years to develop a custom algorithm that was “trained” by a database of 65,000 images of dermatological conditions, as well as many thousands of other images of healthy skin. The accuracy of systemic diagnostics is similar to that of dermatologists.

The user will log into a Google account, “upload” photos of suspicious spots on their skin to a dedicated Derm Assist website, and will be asked to answer a few written questions about possible symptoms on the Internet. The AI ​​system will then analyze the images along with the information to present a list of possible conditions. If a case manifests itself with very disturbing symptoms, the algorithm will advise the user to see a doctor immediately.

“For the people of Greece, given the large number of skin diseases including melonoma, this application can be very useful,” editorial note.

After convincing users of any concerns about the misuse of their personal data, Google has assured that the application will not be used to “serve” targeted advertising, and skin photos will only be stored with the user’s approval and for the sole purpose of better learning. algorithm to get better in the future.

The app, which will be free, builds on Google’s previous smart tools for detecting symptoms of certain cancers and tuberculosis. Until now, none of these tools have been approved as an alternative, which makes it unnecessary for a specialist doctor to diagnose. However, they can even help non-specialist doctors (such as general practitioners) make a more accurate diagnosis.

According to Google, nearly ten billion searches are performed on its search engine each year for skin, hair and nail problems, which is a testament to the tremendous interest of people around the world. It is estimated that nearly two billion people worldwide have more or less serious skin problems. Google reports that people correctly diagnose skin problems only 13% of the time.

“Skin disease as a category is a huge burden on the entire world. People turn to Google for skin problems. “Most cases are treatable, but half of the world’s population has an acute shortage of dermatologists,” said Dr. Peggy Boy of Google Health and the University of California.

Competitive Google companies such as Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are gradually expanding their healthcare presence using artificial intelligence techniques, providing a variety of services to consumers, doctors and pharmaceutical companies.

Other innovations

Google made other announcements at the same conference. Among other things, the company is developing a mobile phone camera that better detects human skin tone, which primarily concerns non-whites. The “anti-racist” camera will be ready this year.

In addition, the Google Photos app will now use artificial intelligence to help the user create albums from their photos. If, for example, someone does not want to include photos that remind him of a bad period in his life (for example, separation), the application will help him to delete them or help him to include in the album photos that are similar to each other (for example, the same sofa ). In addition, the user will be able to create animation by combining photographs taken in a short period of time.

Google also announced that the upcoming Android 12 operating system update will be “the biggest design change in Android history.” Among other things, it will include more features to protect the user’s personal data in order to gain more control over the applications (applications) that he uses on his devices. For example, an indicator light at the top of the screen will indicate if an app is using a camera or microphone.

Google also announced that it is developing a new video conferencing system that will allow the person you are talking to appear in front of you in 3D and be very realistic. Technology using multiple cameras is still in its infancy and is unlikely to be implemented anytime soon.

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