Healthcare is a faithful believer in technology. And rightly so, since with every new innovation, the lives of millions can be improved. AI is expected to become one of the most exciting developments of modern tech in life sciences. Research by Accenture even shows that the use of AI in healthcare is expected to grow rapidly at a rate of 40% through 2021. It’s key to ensure that this huge impact of AI benefits all people, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexuality. Take a look at how AI can be used to strive for more inclusivity in society and stimulate access to healthcare.
During our 2019 developer conference ‘Innovation in the Open’ (I/O), we announced that we are taking steps to improve accessibility for our speech, sight, and hearing-impaired users. One of the steps presented focused on improving the communication of people who suffer from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a stroke, or traumatic brain injury. Through the use of AI, the speech of people who face one of these disabilities can now be recognized, registered, interpreted, and correctly transcribed by devices. The project’s name: Euphonia.
Moreover, we demonstrated the possibility of live translation in a video, or cell phone call. This feature is especially interesting for people who are deaf or otherwise hearing impaired. To see these features in action, please take a look at the video below:
“According to the World Health Organization, 15% of the entire world population, more than 1 billion people, have disabilities. We believe that technology can help us develop products for everyone, and AI offers our new capabilities that greatly enhance the experience of people with disabilities.”
— Sundar Pichai, CEO at Google Cloud
Literacy is fundamental to human development as it enables people to live full and meaningful lives. In Europe, as many as 55 million people have literacy difficulties. They are at best able to read simple texts, but not well enough to participate optimally in society. Low litteacy increases the risk of poverty and social exclusion, which are important social determinants for health.
By combining the powers of Google Go (used for fast searches) and Google Lens (used to recognize photos, videos, and objects), we want to reach users with (severe) reading difficulties. By adding Google Go tech to Google Lens, our application will be able to recognize, translate, and read written text out loud. Simply point your camera at the text, and the tech will do the rest. With this feature, we want to contribute to efforts for more inclusive healthcare and societies. Please take a look at this video to see the tool in action and learn of the inspiring story of Urmila.
As a former NGO employee traveling through Brazil, Rafael Figeroa noticed that there was a big lack of medical specialists per patient in Brazil. A lot of the people did not have access to the care that they needed. That’s when he decided to create Portal Telemedicina. Portal Telemedicina provides advanced technology to empower rural clinics and patients, drastically reducing the time and cost barrier and closing the healthcare gap.
To do this, Telemedicina needed state-of-the-art technology that would support the vision of connecting patients with specialists. Google provided Portal Telemedicina with access to resources; in the form of mentors, new product development, and top global specialists. With the use of TensorFlow, our end-to-end open-source learning platform, it’s possible to look at x-ray images and classify what diseases are present in each image. By using AI in decision making, doctors in remote areas can provide reliable results, without having the most optimal resources available to them. To learn more about this case, please watch the video below.
“Ever since I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to make an impact. ”
— Rafael Figeroa, Founder Portal Telemedicina
With the tools and people mentioned above, we believe we can strive for a more accessible, and inclusive society for everyone. Google Cloud is applying deep industry knowledge to help healthcare providers meet their toughest challenges related to three key areas: providing secure, continuous patient care, empowering caregivers with collaboration and productivity tools, and making data-driven clinical and operational decisions. For more information on our vision and goals when it comes to healthcare, please click here.