Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Google’s AI-powered dermatology tool helps you diagnose skin conditions

Google has introduced an AI-powered dermatology assist tool that helps you understand what’s going on with issues related to your body’s largest organ: your skin, hair, and nails.

The new AI technology employs many of the same techniques that detect diabetic eye disease or lung cancer in CT scans. The tool uses your phone’s camera to capture a skin image and then gives possible causes for various symptoms, like a rash on your arm that’s bugging you.

How does Google’s AI-powered dermatology tool work?

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 then need to answer series of 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 analyzes 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 or take to a dermatologist.

For every possibly matching condition, the tool will show dermatologist-reviewed information and answers to commonly asked questions and images of the skin ailment from the internet.

Google noted that its AI 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. But they hope that the tool can offer more organized basic information than users might find simply surfing the web. This will help you make a more informed decision about your next step.

The AI-powered dermatology assist tool is the result of over three years of machine learning research and product development. It will come pre-programmed to examine skin ailments from all races, skin tones, ages, and sexes. The model is fine-tuned with de-identified data encompassing around 65,000 images and case data of diagnosed skin conditions, millions of curated skin concern images, and thousands of examples of healthy skin – all across different demographics.

This product has been CE marked as a Class I medical device in the EU. It is not available in the United States. In the coming months, Google plans to build on this work so more people can use this tool to answer questions about common skin issues.