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Google’s new A.I. health tool turns your phone camera into a dermatologist

Google’s new A.I. health tool turns your phone camera into a dermatologist

At this year’s Google I/O, the company showed off a new health tool to help you identify different skin, hair, and nail issues using artificial intelligence and your smartphone camera. 

It’s not available on any Android phones just yet, though. According to a press release, Google says the “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.”

The feature sounds fairly simple to use. The tool will ask you to take three images of either your skin, nail, or hair — depending on what your concern is — from different angles. Then, you’ll answer questions about how long you’ve had the issue, your skin type, and other symptoms you’re feeling. 

Based on your responses, the AI will then use that information to pull from a knowledge base of 288 skin conditions to give you a list of potential conditions that match your criteria — each of which shows dermatologist information and answers to questions that are commonly asked. From there, you’ll have to do your own research on the results.

The tool also factors in a variety of different things including sex, race, skin type, and age to provide you with specific results. 

Google says it’s “fine-tuned [its] model 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.”

However, while the tool has received clinical validation in the EU and is “marked as a Class I medical device,” it hasn’t been evaluated by the U.S. FDA for safety or efficacy. So, it can’t diagnose you with any conditions.

When the tool is eventually available to use in the U.S., you should definitely consult with your primary care physician based on the results you find. 

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