Scientists have reported that artificial intelligence is as good as cancer doctors. The AI has been found to be as effective as trained cancer doctors in analyzing photographs for cancer detection.
The team from Stanford University said that they were excited with the findings and would now test it in the clinics.
Their ultimate goal is to use AI in revolutionizing healthcare by making it possible to scan cancer using any smartphone.
The Cancer Research UK praised the studies, saying that doctors would hugely benefit from it.
The AI was developed basing on Google’s technology that could tell apart images of dogs from those of cats.
It was shown 129,450 photographs and told what type of skin condition it was looking at in each one, reports BBC.
The machine then learnt how it could differentiate the common type of skin cancer: the deadly melanoma and the rather mild carcinoma.
Research shows that for every 20 skin cancer cases, only one is melanoma. However, three-quarter of the cancer deaths are linked to this type of cancer.
How the test was done – Skin Cancer Scanning
To arrive at the findings detailed in the journal Nature, the research experts tested the AI against 21 trained doctors.
In the end, they found out that the machine is at par with board-certified dermatologists.
But the only setback is that the software lacks the capability to make full diagnosis as this needs a tissue biopsy.
Dr Andre Esteva, one of the researchers, said that they now have to test the system against doctors in the clinic.
They believe that it is an incredible healthcare application that would do good in the society.
They have already outlined some areas it could be used, including on smartphones. However, Esteva says that would require them to build an app and then test its accuracy directly from multiple smartphones.
Technologists are on a daily basis finding ways to integrate technology in healthcare. Already an AI that can tell when the heart will fail has been developed.
Dr Jana Witt from the charity Cancer Research UK said that it would be interesting to use AI in diagnosing skin cancer. This would boost GPs and dermatologists assessments.
However, the AI will not be used as a replacement for information held by your clinician.