Google Deepmind is venturing deeper into healthcare research.
The tech giant’s subsidiary will use its artificial intelligence program to partner with the United Kingdom’s National Health Service on creating new treatment programs for head and neck cancer patients. The research project will be carried out at the University College London Hospital (UCLH).
These forms of cancer can be difficult to treat, according to Deepmind’s announcement. Radiotherapy can improve survival rates, but this treatment regimen is an arduous process called segmentation requiring physicians to construct detailed maps of the patient’s body so the radiation can carefully target the cancer without damaging nearby nerves or organs.
Deepmind’s goal is to carefully analyze an estimated 700 anonymized scans of UCLH patients.
The hope is that this experiment could provide two important benefits. The first being that the software helps reduce the time needed to perform this segmentation process from four hours to one, allowing clinicians to have more time focus on patient care and research. Second, it could create a radiotherapy algorithm that could work on other parts of the body.
No deadline has been set for this initiative. Deepmind is also working with the NHS on an initiative where its software is scouring over eye scans to determine if it can diagnose certain defects or diseases.