So, guess what? Google has teamed up with none other than the Department of Defense to cook up something that sounds straight out of a sci-fi movie—an “Augmented Reality Microscope” (ARM). Imagine this: You’re peering through the lens, and voila! Artificial intelligence jazzes up your view with real-time visual cues like heatmaps or even object boundaries.
Why does this matter, you ask? Well, these AI-powered extras are more than just eye candy. They’re designed to make your life easier when it comes to classifying samples. We’re talking about a game-changer in spotting cancer cells or pathogens.
Abstract of the patent:
“A microscope of the type used by a pathologist to view slides containing biological samples such as tissue or blood is provided with the projection of enhancements to the field of view, such as a heatmap, border, or annotations, substantially in real time as the slide is moved to new locations or changes in magnification or focus occur. The enhancements assist the pathologist in characterizing or classifying the sample, such as being positive for the presence of cancer cells or pathogens.”
First unveiled to the public in 2018, the ARM isn’t diagnosing patients just yet. But don’t let that dampen your spirits! There are already 13 prototypes out there, each undergoing rigorous testing to make sure they’re ready to give clinicians a helping hand.
The best part? Google has plans to make this tech easily accessible. They aim to design the ARM so it can be “retrofitted into existing light microscopes found in hospitals and clinics,” Google says. Imagine the possibilities! From text and arrows to heat maps and even animations, these ARM-enhanced microscopes could offer a smorgasbord of visual aids, each customized to meet specific assessment needs
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. The Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Unit is already in talks with Google. Their goal? To roll out the ARM through military channels, as CNBC reports. But hold onto your wallets, folks.
With a price tag ranging from $90,000 to $100,000, this high-tech wonder is probably not going to be a staple at your local clinic anytime soon. We’ve reached out to Google for more deets on when we might see this tech in action and will keep you posted as soon as we hear back.
Google Health has been playing the long game, investing in AI-powered tools designed to not just make diagnostics more accurate but also to plug those pesky gaps in healthcare where there just aren’t enough skilled hands on deck.
The company si teaming up with startups that are equally jazzed about using AI to “improve healthcare.” And we’re not talking chump change here. Google is projected to have poured a staggering $200 billion into AI investments over the past decade, as per Reuters.
Well, consider this: The World Health Organization has sounded the alarm, warning that we could be short by a whopping 15 million healthcare workers globally by 2030. So, Google’s investments aren’t just about cool tech; they’re about addressing a very real, very urgent need.