Google, US Defense dept to build AI-powered microscope to spot cancer

Published on:

New York, Sep 20 (IANS) Tech giant Google has partnered with the US Department of Defense to build a microscope powered by Artificial Intelligence to help doctors spot cancer. 

Called an Augmented Reality Microscope, or ARM, has shown promise and could prove to be a useful tool for pathologists without easy access to a second opinion, CNBC reported.

The device has a large eyepiece and a tray for examining traditional glass slides, and is also connected to a boxy computer tower that houses the AI models.

The AI detects cancer from the glass slide under the microscope. It also outlines — a bright green line — with which doctors can see where exactly the cancer is located.

To indicate how bad the cancer is, the AI generates a black and white heat map on the monitor that shows the boundary of the cancer in a pixelated form.

The ARM is meant to serve as a second line of defence for pathologists, and it would not replace the doctors themselves, Dr. Niels Olson, the chief medical officer of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) at the Department of Defense, was quoted as saying.

He added that the obvious initial use case for the microscope would be in smaller, remote labs, and it could also serve as a resource for pathology residents in training.

According to Aashima Gupta, global director of healthcare strategy and solutions at Google Cloud, the company has launched four algorithms for the ARM which can identify breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer and mitosis.

The AI models are trained on data from the DIU, and Gupta said neither Google employees nor Google infrastructure have access to it, the report said.

The DIU is hoping to make the ARM available to all government users through the General Services Administration website sometime this fall.

The tool is called an Augmented Reality Microscope, and it will usually cost health systems between $90,000 to $100,000, the report said.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Except for the headline and photo, this story has not been edited by THIP Media staff and is published from a syndicated feed / newswire service.