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Google AI can Predict Cardiovascular Problems

Google AI can Predict Cardiovascular Problems

It's now working on an algorithm, which it hopes can predict heart disease by looking into our eyes and deducing data by analyzing scans of the back of a patient's eye. These risk factors included gender, blood pressure, smoking habits and an estimate of age to within four years of a person's actual age.

The research was published earlier today in the journal Nature, titled "Prediction of cardiovascular risk factors from retinal fundus photographs via deep learning". "We, therefore, explored whether additional signals for cardiovascular risk can be extracted from retinal images, which can be obtained quickly, cheaply and non-invasively in an outpatient setting".

The new algorithms Google has introduced that involves human eye scanning are able to detect whether the person is suffering a condition of high blood pressure or at the risk of stroke or heart attack, according to the statement released by a team of Google researchers on Monday. Instead, no one taught Google algorithms that some patterns in the retinas of those people were associated with an elevated risk of heart disease and stroke or high blood pressure. The work needs to be validated and repeated on more people before it gains broader acceptance, several outside physicians said. In the future, doctors will be able to screen for the number one killer worldwide much more easily, and they will be doing it without causing us any physical discomfort. By studying their appearance with camera and microscope, doctors can infer things like an individual's blood pressure, age, and whether or not they smoke, all of which are crucial indicators of cardiovascular health. Those eye scans helped train the networks on which tell-tale signs led to indicate long-term cardiovascular risk.

The researchers trained the algorithm using machine learning by having it analyze the eye scans and general medical data of around 300,000 patients.

Two images of the fundus, or interior rear of your eye.

If the eyes are the window to the soul, Google thinks it's proven that the retina can offer a window to the state of the heart. Using its algorithms to predict which patient within five years would actually have a heart attack or other major cardiovascular event, and which patient would not. He added that artificial intelligence had the potential to speed up existing forms of medical analysis, but cautioned that the algorithm would need to be tested further before it could be trusted.

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