Recently, Google presented an application of dermatological assistance to guide users with skin conditions, but what is the use that the company gives to this information?
The app called “Dermatology Assist”, based on artificial intelligence, “analyzes information based on 288 variables to provide a list of possible matches that must then be further investigated” to those affected, explains Google.
Through this dermatological assistance tool, what information does Google collect from its users?
The use of this app is relatively simple. We only have to use the camera of our devices to perform a scan on our skin. “Once we open the website, we simply use the camera to take three photos of the skin, hair or nails from different angles,” says the company.
Subsequently, the application issues a set of questions alluding to the pathology. Among them, how long it has been suffering from the condition, symptoms, skin type, and all the necessary data that help the AI to carry out a good analysis of the affected person.
In a sense, what does Google do with the information it obtains from its users?
While the tool takes images of users’ dermatological conditions, the company says it will only use them to train its algorithm. Therefore, the possibility of using this information for advertising purposes is ruled out. Something that is not illogical to think, then, this is a form of income for the company. Users will even have the power to decide if they want to share these files with Google.
It seems that the giant wants to evaluate the degree of learning of its artificial intelligence and determine its degree of precision. Specifically, in front of “something unknown, like a picture of a strange rash that someone carries, or with a known problem”.
Similarly, this dermatological assistance tool is presented as an alternative – totally free – to cover the lack of specialists in this area. Although, for some, its use is not very convincing, as in the case of Jac Dinnes, principal investigator at the Institute for Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham.
He has said that these tools “focus on the responses that symptom checkers give, not on how people respond to those responses.” Therefore, how they can actually help is unknown.
For now, Google plans to follow up on “Dermatology Assist,” and eventually test it at a health center. The latter in association with Stanford University. Thus, everything indicates that the company wants to lend a friend to its users and use their dermatological data for the growth of its AI.
This is Google’s new development to diagnose skin diseases