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Google’s Dermatology tool could find skin problems using just the smartphone camera and AI

Google also announced plans to release a new “AI-powered dermatology assist tool” that helps users understand what’s going on with their skin.

By: Tech Desk | Mumbai |
May 21, 2021 2:29:51 pm
Google's tool, not exactly aimed to be a substitute for dermatological diagnosis, will be helpful for people trying to get quick information on any skin-related issues

Google has made a number of announcements at I/O 2021 to showcase the company’s technological advancements. It also announced plans to release a new “AI-powered dermatology assist tool” that helps users understand what’s going on with their skin.

The tool, though not exactly aimed to be a substitute for dermatological diagnosis, will be helpful for people trying to get quick information on any skin-related issues before they can consult a doctor or specialist.

“Each year we see almost ten billion Google Searches related to skin, nail and hair issues. Two billion people worldwide suffer from dermatologic issues, but there’s a global shortage of specialists,” Google said in blog post. “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,” it added.

How will the Google Dermatology Assist tool work?

Google’s new AI-powered dermatology assist tool will be a web-based application that the company is set to launch later this year. The tool will let users open up their smartphone camera and point it at the desired area of their skin. The tool will then proceed to compare a picture of your skin with Google’s large database of pictures related to skin-issues. Google claims that the tool will be able to pull data from its knowledge of “288 conditions to give you a list of possible matching conditions that you can then research further.”

Information delivered by the tool will include answers to commonly asked questions and similar images of the condition, that could let users gauge the severity of the issue.

Developed for all ages, genders, and skin tones

The Google Dermatology Assist tool has been developed over three years of machine learning research and product development. Google claims this allows the tool to factor in different ages, genders races and skin types to gauge how a skin tone and texture should be under ideal conditions.

The tool will, hence, theoretically be able to differentiate between a lighter skin tone that has been burned and a darker skin tone that is not burnt.

Not a substitute for medical diagnosis

“The tool is not intended to provide a diagnosis nor be a substitute for medical advice as many conditions require clinician review, in-person examination, or additional testing like a biopsy. Rather we hope it gives you access to authoritative information so you can make a more informed decision about your next step. Google said in the post.

“This product has been CE marked as a Class I medical device in the EU. It is not available in the United States,” Google further added.

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