AI looks into your eyes to predict cardio risk

До чего техника дошла в Google научились предсказывать болезни сердца по сетчатке глаза

By analyzing scans of the back of a patient's eye, the company's software is able to accurately deduce data, including an individual's age, blood pressure, and whether or not they smoke. In doing so, Google Retinal Scans Uses AI To Determine Heart Attack Risks. However the team cautions, that it is still far from being perfected for human clinical use.

A research paper detailing the findings appeared in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.

Luke Oakden-Rayner, a medical researcher at the University of Adelaide who specializes in machine learning analysis, told The Verge that the work was solid, and shows how AI can help improve existing diagnostic tools. And scanning the eye is also a lot easier than extracting blood, especially if the patient has an aversion to needles and gets all faint at the idea of being jabbed by one.

Do you believe that deep learning systems, like the one developed by Google AI, could one day expedite the process of determining diseases before they cause significant harm to patients?

Computer vision tasks include methods for acquiring, processing, analysing and understanding digital images, and extraction of high-dimensional data from the real world in order to produce numerical or symbolic information. Peng said that they expanded their exercise and asked the deep learning model to predict whether a person was a smoker or what their blood pressure was based on retinal images.

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Google is betting on established research on building this algorithm.

The machine was shown images of the retina of individuals who suffered a heart attack within five years of the study and those who did not have a cardiac event. "This performance approaches the accuracy of other CV risk calculators that require a blood draw to measure cholesterol", Peng said. They are also showing promise in other arenas of health, including by looking for signs of cancer in the X-ray scans reviewed by radiologists. While the link between the eyes and the heart may be somewhat well-known, no human could ever hope to study enough pairs of peepers to actually figure out what all of the different properties of the eye meant as far as heart disease risk. In future large data sets could provide deeper insight.

But the study "isn't without limitations", says Engadget, as the scientists "only surveyed eye images with a 45-degree field of view". Researchers are trying to correct this problem with new versions.

"In other words, it's not yet ready for clinical testing, but it's a promising start for non-invasive evaluation of cardiovascular health", Engadget concludes.

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