9:43 AM
Apr 16, 2018
 |  BC Extra  |  Tools & Techniques

Google unveils prototype cancer-detecting microscope

Pathology researchers from the Google Inc. unit of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) presented early data from artificial intelligence algorithms designed to detect and assess the aggressiveness of cancer, and allowed visitors to test a microscope that overlays visual results of a cancer detection algorithm over biopsy samples in real time. The presentation occurred at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Chicago.

"You see the real sample as usual, and on top of that have a real-time live update on the cancer prediction of the model," said Martin Stumpe, technical lead at Google.

Lead Pathologist Jason Hippe reported that an AI algorithm designed to detect breast cancer metastases improved speed of detection by 11% for images with no metastases and 23% for images with micrometastases. It improved accuracy of detection to 95.7% from 93.3%.

Another algorithm designed to calculate Gleason score from prostate cancer images performed as well as scoring by a pathologist.

The prototype includes a microscope retrofitted with a camera, a computational unit to calculate tumor probabilities in different regions of an image, and a microdisplay. The results are projected via beam splitter so they are shown when looking through the eyepiece.

Stumpe said the device is not yet commercially available and that Google is seeking beta testers.

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