Google made an AR microscope that can help detect cancer

From Engadget - April 16, 2018

The microscope is an ordinary light microscope, the kind used by pathologists worldwide. Google just tweaked it a little in order to introduce AI technology and augmented reality. First, neural networks are trained to detect cancer cells in images of human tissue. Then, after a slide with human tissue is placed under the modified microscope, the same image a person sees through the scope's eyepieces is fed into a computer. AI algorithms then detect cancer cells in the tissue, which the system then outlines in the image seen through the eyepieces (see image above). It's all done in real time and works quickly enough that it's still effective when a pathologist moves a slide to look at a new section of tissue.

So far, the Google team has demonstrated the scope's abilities with breast and prostate cancers, showing the system is pretty accurate in its assessments. But Google says such a set up could be used to detect other cancers as well as infectious diseases like tuberculosis and malaria. It could also be used to display other data or annotations into the view. "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.


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