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Google previews its AI dermatology assist tool

Image sourced from blog.google/technology

Internet search-engine Google has shared a preview of a dermatology tool powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that helps the user understand what’s going on with issues related to the skin.

According to Google’s blog, the tool uses many of the same techniques that detect diabetic eye disease or lung cancer in CT scans and gets you closer to identifying dermatologic issues, using your phone’s camera.

The Google blog reads: “Each year we see almost ten billion Google Searches related to skin, nail and hair issues. Two billion people worldwide suffer from dermatologic issues, but there’s a global shortage of specialists. While many people’s first step involves going to a Google Search bar, it can be difficult to describe what you’re seeing on your skin through words alone.

“Our AI-powered dermatology assist tool is a web-based application that we hope to launch as a pilot later this year, to make it easier to figure out what might be going on with your skin. Once you launch the tool, simply use your phone’s camera to take three images of the skin, hair or nail concern from different angles. You’ll then be asked questions about your skin type, how long you’ve had the issue and other symptoms that help the tool narrow down the possibilities. The AI model analyzes this information and draws from its knowledge of 288 conditions to give you a list of possible matching conditions that you can then research further.

“For each matching condition, the tool will show dermatologist-reviewed information and answers to commonly asked questions, along with similar matching images from the web. The tool is not intended to provide a diagnosis nor be a substitute for medical advice as many conditions require clinician review, in-person examination, or additional testing like a biopsy. Rather we hope it gives you access to authoritative information so you can make a more informed decision about your next step.”

The tool is the culmination of over three years of machine learning research and product development.

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