Google Research

An Augmented Reality Microscope with Real-time Artificial Intelligence Integration for Cancer Diagnosis

Nature Medicine (2019)


The microscopic assessment of tissue samples is instrumental for the diagnosis and staging of cancer and thus guides therapy. However, these assessments demonstrate significant variability, and many regions of the world lack access to trained pathologists. Though Artificial Intelligence (AI) promises to improve the access and quality of healthcare, the costs of image digitization in pathology and difficulties in deploying AI solutions remain as barriers to real-world use. Here we propose a cost-effective solution: the Augmented Reality Microscope (ARM). The ARM overlays AI-based information onto the current view of the sample in real-time, enabling seamless integration of AI into routine workflows. We demonstrate the utility of ARM in the detection of metastatic breast cancer and the identification of prostate cancer with latency compatible with real-time use. We anticipate that the ARM will remove barriers towards the use of AI designed to improve the accuracy and efficiency of cancer diagnosis.

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