By Sandra Price

A February report from the UK Telegraph Group revealed that artificialintelligence developed by Google has been shown to be better at diagnosing eye diseases than doctors.

Moorfields Eye Hospital in London has been involved with a 2 year partnership with DeepMind (Google’s sister company) analyzing retinal scans for signs of glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. The technology could be involved with clinical trials in a few years. There is optimism that AI will make tremendous progress in the area of medical imaging.

DeepMind is based in London. They analysed data from thousands of anonymous retinal scans which had been labeled for signs of disease by doctors. This was used to develop an AI algorithm more quickly and efficiently than human doctors. This process can be applied to other types of images and to diagnose other diseases. There are already plans for DeepMind to partner two of London’s universities in analyzing radiotherapy scans and mammograms.

However, people are mindful of the failure of the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust in London last year to comply with data protection rules when handing over details of 1.6 million people to Google. This was part of trial to use technology to track patients’ symptoms and send alerts to doctors in the event of drastic changes in their health.

We learn than DeepMind has apparently set up a research unit focused on the ethical and social implications of the AI it is creating.

Let’s hope so!

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