In yet another nod to the power of Artificial intelligence (AI), Google has announced a dermatology-assisted tool that shows serious promise in helping to assess skin conditions, like moles and rashes, all from your phone’s camera.
“Each year we see almost ten billion Google Searches related to skin, nail and hair issues,” Google shared in a blog post. “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.”
Google also noted that the “tool is the culmination of over three years of machine learning research and product development”—to the tune of several peer-reviewed papers with more in the works—and accounts for “factors like age, sex, race and skin types.”
While the tool is not intended to provide a diagnosis nor a substitute for proper medical advice, Google said it hopes to “give you access to authoritative information so you can make a more informed decision about your next step.”
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