New artificial intelligence (AI) developed by Google has the ability to predict whether a person has high blood pressure or is at a risk of heart attack or stroke.
While the algorithms didn't outperform conventional medical testing such as blood tests, the software does offer the potential of allowing doctors to provide a tool that patients can use to quickly and easily screen themselves for health risks related to heart disease.
Scanned retina images from more than 280,000 patients from the United States and United Kingdom were fed into Google's pattern-recognizing algorithms, otherwise known as neural networks. The scans "trained" the neural networks on which underlying signs are flags for potential long-term health problems.
This type of artificial intelligence provides a non-invasive test that would be available for patients to self-administer. The accuracy is not perfect and researchers acknowledge that the study results need to be validated and repeated on more people.*