Artificial Intelligence has a great impact on the health industry, with its ability to detect cancer, as well as Alzheimer. Earlier this year, a 26-year-old Ph. D. student at Stanford University developed an AI algorithm that could detect skin cancer using Google Image. And now, the Alphabet owned company is also joining the hype by developing a prototype augmented reality microscope (ARM), which is being used for cancer research and detection.
Yesterday, in a talk delivered at the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting, researchers from Google presented an in-review paper about detecting cancer using artificial intelligence and a modified microscope, which features an augmented reality display.
How does it work?
The microscope is basically a tweaked version of an ordinary light microscope, which the researchers introduced to augmented reality and machine learning. First, they teach the neural networks to detect cancer cells in the images of human tissue. Then they place a slide with the real human tissue under the modified microscope, and the image seen through the scope’s eyepieces is fed into a computer. The machine learning algorithms then detect cancer cells in the given tissue that are then outlined in the image through the eyepieces by the system. The entire process is done in real time. The process is pretty fast that it’s still effective when a pathologist replaces the old slide with a new one.
The best part of this augmented reality microscope is the AR display can be retrofitted onto existing microscope, the kind used by pathologists worldwide. Doctors, as well as the hospitals, will only need to modify their existing microscopes, without spending a lot of money.
A hope for the world
So far, the microscope has been trained to detect breast cancer prostate cancer, and it’s been quite accurate in its assessments. However, the ARM is also able to run different types of machine learning algorithms that could solve problems like object detection, quantification, or classification. Google researchers says such set up has the potential to detect other cancers as well as infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.
“Of course, light microscopes have proven useful in many industries other than pathology, and we believe the Augmented Reality Microscope can be adapted for a broad range of applications across healthcare, life sciences research and material science,” says Google.
The paper is currently under review and according to Google, it requires a more in-depth study to improve the system’s performance and overcome the shortcomings. While there are concerns about the negative impact of AI all over the world, it might bring some positive outcome.