Google notes how “spotting and diagnosing breast cancer early remains a challenge.” Currently, digital mammography is used to detect it, but reading breastx-ray images is a “difficult task, even for experts, and can often result in both false positives and false negatives.”
This follows work on detecting metastatic breast cancer from specimens of the lymph node in 2017, and deep learning algorithms that help doctors diagnose breast cancer.
Google Health partnered with DeepMind Alphabet Group, Cancer Research UK Imperial Center Northwestern University, and Royal Surrey County Hospital to “see if artificial intelligence could support radiologists to spot the signs of breast cancer more accurately.”
What is surprising is how the AI system, which doctors would normally use, did not have access to patient history and past mammograms. The model was trained from 76,000 women in the UK and 15,000 women in the US de-identified mammograms.
Next is further testing, as well as “prospective clinical studies and regulatory approval” on how AI could help detect breast cancer. Google hopes that “machine learning research will be translated into tools that benefit clinicians and patients” in the “coming years.”