DETECTING SKIN CONDITIONS WITH AI

Google says its AI detects 26 skin conditions as accurately as dermatologists.

Skin conditions are among the most common kind of ailment globally, just behind colds, fatigue, and headaches. In fact, it’s estimated that 25% of all treatments provided to patients around the world are for skin conditions and that up to 37% of patients seen in the clinic have at least one skin complaint.

The enormous case workload and a global shortage of dermatologists have forced sufferers to seek out general practitioners, who tend to be less accurate than specialists when it comes to identifying conditions. This trend motivated researchers at Google to investigate an AI system capable of spotting the most common dermatological disorders seen in primary care. In a paper (“A Deep Learning System for Differential Diagnosis of Skin Diseases“) and accompanying blog post, they report that it achieves accuracy across 26 skin conditions when presented with images and metadata about a patient case, and they claim that it’s on par with U.S. board-certified dermatologists.

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