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Brief Published: 9 Jun 2021

Google Announces AI Tool to Help Identify Skin Conditions

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Google has announced an AI-powered tool to help detect skin conditions, based on images uploaded by patients. Due to launch later this year, the new technology spotlights the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) into healthcare – see Healthcare’s High-Tech Future for more.

For most consumers, Google Search is the first port of call when seeking answers for skin conditions. Every year, consumers make 10 billion searches relating to skin, nail and hair issues (Google, 2021) – but consumers often find the visual symptoms of skin conditions hard to describe in words.

That’s where Google’s AI-powered ‘dermatology assist tool’ comes in. Users take three pictures of their skin condition from different vantage points using a smartphone camera, before answering a series of follow-up questions. The app then combs through its database of 288 (and growing) skin conditions. After using AI to match the patient’s symptoms to known ailments, it suggests a list of possible conditions which they can research further, with dermatologist-reviewed information.

The app’s AI is trained on a dataset of 65,000 images of diagnosed conditions and millions of concerning marks on skin of all shades, tones and ages. Google is keen to stress that the tool should not be used for a definitive diagnosis, but rather to help the public make more informed health decisions.

Brands should take note – Google is making this AI technology available to patients, not just doctors. It’s a shrewd move, as consumers are increasingly looking to hyper-personalise their healthcare and inform themselves on preventative care. See Empowering Future Patients to find out how this is affecting the healthcare market.

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Google's new app helps consumers check troublesome skin conditions at home
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