Google claims its AI can spot lung cancer a year before human doctors

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Google has announced that it has created “promising” artificial intelligence that can spot lung cancer a year before a human doctor, potentially increasing survival chances for patients, reports The Daily Telegraph. The Silicon Valley technology giant revealed the potentially life-saving technology during its developer conference in Mountain View, California.

Its “deep learning” model can spot subtle lung lesions on a computed tomography (CT) scan, something that five out of six radiologists missed, Google’s health researcher Lily Peng said. The model spotted the cancer a year before diagnosis. “That year could translate into an increased survival rate of 40%,” Peng said.

The report says Google’s AI team has been working with Verily, Google parent Alphabet’s life sciences company. Verily has been focusing on improving the health of diabetics but was forced to suspend work on its smart contact lens that can monitor glucose levels without blood tests. The plans were scuppered when scientists struggled to make the lens compatible with human tears, which had been warping the results.

Peng said in the report that Google hoped to work with hospitals to bring the early diagnostic tool to more people. There is a chance Verily might strike up a deal with the UK‘s National Health Service (NHS). In 2018, it undertook a pilot with NHS England in which anonymised patient data was analysed to try and predict chronic conditions.

The Daily Telegraph report

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