Google's AI detects breast cancer

Google has developed a deep learning algorithm that detects breast cancer in pathology slides, according to a post on the Google Research Blog.

The research team used pathology images to train algorithms to detect the localization of breast cancer that had spread to lymph nodes adjacent to the breast. In its current form, the localization score for the deep learning algorithm reached 89 percent — higher than the 73 percent score pathologists tend to see, even without time constraints.

Since pathologists are often under pressure to review and diagnose patient tissue samples with limited time, the researchers hope that this algorithm can relieve some of this work. The researchers also noted that pathologists often disagree on cancer diagnosis, with agreement for some forms of breast cancer being as low as 48 percent.

"These algorithms perform well for the tasks for which they are trained, but lack the breadth of knowledge and experience of human pathologists," according to the blog post. " To ensure the best clinical outcome for patients, these algorithms need to be incorporated in a way that complements the pathologist's workflow."

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