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20 Sep, 2023
1 min time to read

Google has teamed up with the Department of Defense to develop an "Augmented Reality Microscope" (ARM) equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) enhancements to assist in cancer cell and pathogen detection.

The ARM uses artificial intelligence overlays, such as heat maps and object boundaries, to categorize samples, making it easier for medical professionals to determine the presence of cancer cells and pathogens.

Although the ARM was initially introduced in 2018, it has not yet been used for diagnosing patients. Currently, there are 13 prototypes of the ARM, and extensive testing is required before it can be integrated into everyday clinical practice.

Google intends to equip existing light microscopes used in hospitals and clinics with ARM. Equipped with ARM, these microscopes can provide various visual feedback forms, including text, arrows, contours, heat maps, or animations, tailored to specific diagnostic needs.

The Department of Defense's Defense Innovation Unit has negotiated agreements with Google for the distribution of ARM through the military, with potential availability to government users in the fall. The estimated cost of ARM ranges from $90,000 to $100,000, which may pose a challenge for local healthcare providers.

Google's investment in AI-powered healthcare tools aligns with its goal of improving diagnostic accuracy and addressing healthcare personnel shortages worldwide, as projected by the World Health Organization.

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