Google is working working on an AI tool to enable the identification of some skin conditions.
The “dermatology assist tool” unveiled during tech giant’s annual developer conference I/O 2021 Keynote, is designed to help users identify some skin conditions.
According to this article, the AI tool “has taken three years to develop, and has been trained on a dataset of 65,000 images of diagnosed conditions, as well as millions of images showing marks people were concerned about, and thousands of pictures of healthy skin, in all shades and tones”.
Says Google, “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 analyses 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 says that it hopes to launch a “pilot” for this tool later this year. The product has already been marked as a Class I medical device in the EU but hasn’t been approved by the FDA for use in the United States just yet, according to the this article,
It is important to note that although the tool can help to identify some skin conditions, it isn’t designed to match a doctor’s diagnosis,. On this specific point, it is also well worth reading the analysis in the BBC news article. A sensible approach might be to use the tool an an initial step in an attempt to identify a skin condition, but this must always be followed up with a proper diagnosis from a medically qualified healthcare professional.