Google Artificial Intelligence to Predict Heart Disease

Google AI-can-predict-cardiovascular-problems

Given the fact that heart diseases is one of the leading causes of deaths in the world, this algorithm could be a big breakthrough. "Diagnosis is about to get turbo-charged by technology".

"However, with medical images, observing and quantifying associations can often be hard because of the wide variety of features, patterns, colours, values and shapes that are present in real data". Those scans helped train the networks on which telltale signs tended to indicate long-term health dangers.

Key risk factors for heart disease include both obvious things like your age and gender, and things that may be a bit harder to detect, such as whether you smoke, your systolic blood pressure, and whether you've had major cardiovascular events in the past.

Although the idea of looking at your eyes to judge the health of your heart sounds unusual, it draws from a body of established research.

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The true power of this kind of technological solution is that it could flag risk with a fast, cheap and noninvasive test that could be administered in a range of settings, letting people know if they should come in for follow-up.

To train the algorithm, Google and Verily's scientists used machine learning to analyze a medical dataset of almost 300,000 patients. Doctors can look right into your eyes and see signs of any number of diseases like diabetes, and high blood pressure. "These techniques allow us to generate a heatmap that shows which pixels were the most important for a predicting a specific cardiovascular risk factor", said Peng.

Once up to scratch, Verily claims the results can be as accurate as current blood test methods.

"Most cardiovascular risk calculators use some combination of these parameters to identify patients at risk of experiencing either a major cardiovascular event or cardiac-related mortality within a pre-specified time period, such as 10 years", the paper states.

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Google researchers are confident the new technology could be put to good use in the health industry.

In a paper published today (via The Verge), Verily and the Google AI teams detail their work analyzing blood vessels at the back of the eye to predict risk factors, like blood pressure and smoking, associated with cardiovascular disease. Explaining how the algorithm is making its prediction gives the doctor more confidence in the algorithm itself.

Google used models based on data from 284,335 patients.

Apple late a year ago launched a heart study tied to its Apple Watch to see if it could detect and alert people to irregular heart rhythms that could be a sign of atrial fibrillation, a leading cause of stroke.

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