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Google unveils AI tool that can identify 288 skin conditions including warts, cysts and lipoma from just THREE photos


Google has revealed an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tool that can identify 288 different skin conditions, including warts, cysts and lipoma.

The tool, which Google hopes to launch as a pilot later this year, will let users take and submit three images of an area of concern – either skin, hair or nails – from different angles.

They'll then be asked questions about skin type, how long they've had the issue and other symptoms to give a list of possible matching conditions. 

 The tool, revealed at Google's I/O developer conference, has been trained with around 65,000 images of diagnosed skin conditions, as well as millions of other images of concern and thousands of examples of healthy skin.  

Google stressed that the tool is not intended to provide a diagnosis nor be a substitute for medical advice, but rather help users make a 'more informed decision' about whether to go to a doctor.  

'Each year we see almost ten billion Google Searches related to skin, nail and hair issues,' Google said in a blog post.

'Two billion people worldwide suffer from dermatologic issues, but there's a global shortage of specialists.

'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.

'Our AI-powered dermatology assist tool is a web-based application that we hope to launch as a pilot later this year, to make it easier to figure out what might be going on with your skin.'

Google said the tool accounts for factors like age, sex, race and skin types, from 'pale skin that does not tan to brown skin that rarely burns'.

For each matching condition, it will show dermatologist-reviewed information and answers to commonly asked questions, along with similar matching images from the internet.  

The product has been given a CE marking as a Class I medical device for a release in Europe, but it has not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 


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