Google Retinal Scans Can Predict if You Will Have a Heart Attack

Google AI-can-predict-cardiovascular-problems

Google's new AI algorithm predicts heart disease by looking at your eyes

The company managed to collect data from 284,335 patients and use company's deep learning algorithms to be able to discover CV risk factors from retinal images, and Google was pretty much successful in doing so.

To "train" the algorithm, Verily's scientists used machine learning to study medical data from nearly 300k patients - some with cardiovascular issues, some without.

Tech giant Google has said that it has been trying to use deep learning techniques on one of its computer vision engines to try and assess cardiovascular risk factors, with heart attacks and strokes continuing to be among the top public health issues.

Researchers at Google and Verily used machine learning to analyze data of almost 300,000 patients and accurately predicted cardiovascular risk factors using retinal images in two datasets of 12,026 and 999 patients.

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Google Research's deep learning work could represent a new method of scientific discovery. By closely inspecting an individual's eye scans, doctors can tell individual's blood pressure, age, and whether or not they smoke, which in turn help in predicting cardiovascular health. The data was validated in two independent sets of patients comprising of 12,026 and 999 patients respectively. It opens up a wealth of possibility in regards to preventive care and screening for heart disease. According to the team, they were able to quantify the association between the retinal vessels and cardiovascular risks identified by researchers from previous medical studies. This is only slightly worse than the commonly used SCORE method of predicting cardiovascular risk, which requires a blood test and makes correct predictions in the same test 72 percent of the time.

The opportunity to one day readily understand the health of a patient's blood vessels, key to cardiovascular health, with a simple retinal image could lower the barrier to engage in critical conversations on preventive measures to protect against a cardiovascular event. "These techniques allow us to generate a heatmap that shows which pixels were the most important for a predicting a specific cardiovascular risk factor", said Peng. Explaining how the algorithm is making its prediction gives the doctor more confidence in the algorithm itself.

Google has allegedly been working on predicting eye diseases using artificial intelligence for a while now.

Further, the algorithm was "fairly accurate" at predicting the risk of a cardiovascular event directly, Peng wrote.

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