A set of Google algorithms were able to assess people’s heart disease risk by just looking at their eye scans. The software can also predict the risk of stroke and if a person is affected by high blood pressure.
- Google researchers are confident the new technology could be put to good use in the health industry.
- However, the AI-powered software did not fare better than current screening methods.
A research paper detailing the findings appeared in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.
The new tech could enable doctors to screen their patients easier and give them the proper treatment and could also enable patients to assess their health risks by themselves. Learning whether you are prone to heart disease can prevent millions of deaths every year as heart disease is the top killer worldwide.
Harlan Krumholz of Yale University who was not involved in the research believes technology could soon “turbo-charge” diagnosis. People could therefore gain access to tools that provide them with useful information on their health rapidly.
Google Algorithms Learned on Their Own How to Spot Heart Disease Risk
Google engineers used images of human eyes from over 280,000 people from the U.S. and U.K. The images enabled the AI-powered neural networks to recognize some patterns and detect the telltale signs of future heart disease and stroke risks.
Some medical professional can assess one’s health by looking at their eyes too, but that takes a lot of training. Instead, no one taught Google algorithms that some patterns in the retinas of those people were associated with an elevated risk of heart disease and stroke or high blood pressure.
The tech predicts risk while being noninvasive, fast, and convenient. Plus, it could be used on large numbers of people at once, which could dramatically improve prevention when it comes to cardiovascular disease.
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