Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, revealed a new algorithm last week at an event that could predict and help in the prevention of cardiovascular problems using only a single retinal scan. Following a comparison of the scans with a matrix for cardiovascular risks, the device may determine the state of the heart with just one look in the eyes. In 70% of the scenarios where it has been tested thus far, the algorithm has proven to be accurate. With the help of Google’s new AI technology, cardiovascular risk detection may no longer require the extensive battery of tests and scans that are currently necessary.

Dr. Mahipal S. Sachdev, Chairman of the Centre of Sight, described the Google algorithm as a two-step procedure that begins with an image technique where a picture of the retina is taken.  The image displays the blood vessels, which the AI then examines to generate a diagnostic. Thus, if you have a narrowing blood vessel or even in situations of cancer, leukaemia, or diabetic retinopathy, you could get these conditions, the expert explained.

All these developments, according to Dr. Sandeep Mishra, Director of the Institute of Cardiology, NIMS, add up and contribute in improving diagnosis. “However, since these tests are ultimately tests, human intelligence must implement them and include them into the management algorithm, which includes diagnostics. They can be utilised to enhance therapy, but they can’t take the role of doctors or human intellect on their own.” He highlighted the necessity of validating the tool and providing context for its use.

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