IoT and health: Google-AI improves Breast Cancer Screening

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IoT and health: Google-AI improves Breast Cancer Screening

Google-AI: Breast Cancer affects many women – about 1 in 8 in the U.S. will develop the disease in their lifetime. For prevention, over 42 million exams are performed each year in the U.S. and U.K. combined. Reading these X-ray images is a difficult task, done by experts.

There is a risk for false positives and false negatives. Inaccuracies can lead to delays in detection and treatment, stress for patients and a higher workload for radiologists. Over the last two years, Google has been working with clinical research partners in the U.K. and U.S. to find out if artificial intelligence can improve this situation. Now first findings have been published in the magazine Nature. They show that the AI model spotted breast cancer in de-identified screening mammograms with greater accuracy, fewer false positives, and fewer false negatives than experts. In future applications the model could potentially support radiologists performing breast cancer screenings.
The research has been done in collaboration with DeepMind, Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre, Northwestern University and Royal Surrey County Hospital. The model was trained and tuned on a data set comprised of de-identified mammograms from more than 90,000 women – and then evaluated on a separate de-identified data set of more than 28,000 women. Here, Google’s system produced significant reduction of false positives and in false negatives – the model performed at a higher level than experts, although it was given less information. The human experts had access to patient histories and prior mammograms, while the model only processed the most recent anonymized mammogram with no extra information.

Google’s Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat - Google-AI

Google-AI – IoT and Health: Google’s Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat

Google claims that there are promising signs that the model could potentially increase the accuracy and efficiency of screening programs, as well as reduce wait times and stress for patients. Google’s Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat shared her optimism around potential technological with Google-AI breakthroughs in this area in a post in October reflecting on her personal experience with breast cancer.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Google/Deep Mind

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