Are you a little worried about a rash on your arm or leg? At its annual developer conference I/O, Google announced that it intends to launch later this year an AI-powered tool that can help identify skin problems just through pictures taken by a smartphone camera.
According to Google, once launched, the tool will require you to take three pictures of the skin, hair or nail issue from different angles. Then you’ll be asked questions about your skin type, duration of the issue (how long you’ve had it), and other symptoms that will help the tool narrow down the possibilities.
The AI model crunches all this information and draws from its database of 288 conditions to provide you a list of possible matching conditions. Every matched condition will come with dermatologist-reviewed information and answers to frequently asked questions, along with similar matching pictures from the web.
However, Google said the tool isn’t meant to provide a formal diagnosis or replace professional medical advice as many conditions require review by doctor, in-person examination, or additional testing like a biopsy. That being said, the tech giant also pointed out that two billion people worldwide suffer from dermatologic (skin) issues while specialists are in short supply.
The company described the tool as the culmination of over three years of machine learning research and product development. It uses many of the same techniques that detect diabetic eye disease or lung cancer in CT scans.