Google launches AI-powered health tool to identify skin conditions



Google’s is introducing a web tool that uses artificial intelligence to help people identify skin, hair, or nail conditions. The company hopes to launch a pilot later this year.

The team trained the model on millions of images of skin problems, thousands of images of healthy skin, and 65,000 images from clinical settings. The model takes factors like age, skin type, sex, and race into account when suggesting possible conditions. When it was tested on around 1,000 images of skin problems from a diverse range of patients, Google claims that it identified the correct condition in the top three suggestions 84 per cent of the time. It included the correct condition as one of the possible issues 97 per cent of the time.

People can use their phone’s camera to take three pictures of the problem area and answer a series of questions about their skin type and other symptoms. The tool then gives a list of possible conditions from a set of 288 that it’s trained to recognise. It’s not intended to diagnose the problem, the company said in a blog post.

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