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Second opinion? Google AI spots breast cancer more accurately than radiologists, in trial

| | January 9, 2020

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Researchers at Google, working alongside experts at Northwestern University and three British medical institutions, have created an AI model that appears capable of more accurately spotting breast cancer in mammograms than human experts, according to a new study.

The AI model both detected cases of breast cancer at higher rates than radiologists and reported fewer false positives, according to the study, which was published on New Year’s Day in the high-caliber scientific journal Nature. The results held even when the algorithm was tested internationally, a hurdle that few AI tools have been capable of overcoming given how inconsistent datasets be across borders.

Clinicians fail to find about 20% of all breast cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. Meanwhile, about half of all American women getting yearly mammograms are, over the course of a decade, wrongly told they might have cancer when they are in fact disease-free.

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AI may never replace human experts, at least in a field as nuanced and complex as breast cancer. Instead, such tools could be used as a kind of second opinion — something radiologists turn to as a means of guiding their initial interpretation of a breast scan.

Read full, original post: Google AI tool can pinpoint breast cancer better than clinicians, new study suggests

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