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AI beats humans at identifying cervical cancer in NIH study

October 4, 2019

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Researchers at the National Cancer Institute developed an algorithm that can accurately identify precancerous changes in the cervix—a potential boon to low-resource areas that don’t have enough medical professionals.

In work published Thursday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, officials said the NCI team worked with a team from Global Good—a fund at Intellectual Ventures—and “trained” their machine learning algorithm on complex visual inputs, such as medical images. Ultimately, they said, they got the machine to accurately identify patterns of cervical cancer.

They verified the computer’s findings with the National Library of Medicine—another branch of the National Institutes of Health—showing the algorithm actually outperformed human experts reviewing the files.

Read more: Fierce Healthcare

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