Google`s artificial intelligence company is working on a new project that will help doctors diagnose several eye diseases. DeepMind was founded in 2010 by three British researchers and managed to establish itself as one of the most innovative laboratories for artificial intelligence research. Their new AI system will use data from an U.K. hospital to teach itself how to diagnose eye diseases.
DeepMind is the same company who drew everyone`s attention earlier this year when its computer defeated an expert Go player for the first time. Their job is to develop algorithms able to teach themselves through unmediated experience or data.
DeepMind`s new AI system will help doctors diagnose accurately two eye conditions: diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. In the absence of an early and accurate diagnosis, these two conditions can lead to sight loss.
Doctors typically use two investigation methods to look for any symptoms. The first one is the attentive examination of the fundus of the eye (a part of the eye`s interior). This can be done using an ophthalmoscope or a digital scanner. Another method called optical coherence tomography (OCT) is to take a 3D scan of the retina.
Unfortunately, the preliminary analysis of these imaging techniques is a time-consuming job. This is the reason for which Pearse Keane decided to ask for help from DeepMind. With a helping hand from an AI system the interpretation process would speed up, and doctors will be able to see more patients.
Moorfields Eye Hospital will offer around one million digital images of different human fundi. Moreover, the hospital will provide DeepMind with full access to the clinical diagnoses and the treatments recommended by the hospital staff in each situation.
According to the management of the hospital, the information disclosed to DeepMind for research purposes will not threaten the anonymity of the patients.
DeepMind decided to start a medical division earlier this year, in February, and they are already developing an app help doctors diagnose kidney injury. The algorithm of this new AI system will be able to assimilate information and develop its own technique of solving problems.
DeepMind is not the only artificial intelligence company offering its services for medical research. A few other tech companies are working on similar applications. For example, IBM has developed an AI able to assist doctors in diagnosing cancer.
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