Google Health’s AI Can Spot Breast Cancer in Mammograms Missed by Radiologists

According to a research paper published by Google’s Health division together with Deepmind, Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre, Northwestern University and Royal Surrey County Hospital, the company’s AI model can identify breast cancer in mammograms missed by radiologists and help reduce the number of false diagnoses (via CNET).


Google Health’s AI, which was trained on anonymized mammograms, was tested against scans of over 25,000 women from the UK and over 3,000 women from the US. Researchers believe they are well on their way to developing a tool that can detect breast cancer with greater accuracy.

“Further testing, clinical validation and regulatory approvals are required before this could start making a difference for patients, but we’re committed to working with our partners towards this goal,” said Dominic King, UK lead at Google Health:

In early testing, Google’s AI caught cancers missed by radiologists, but there were also some cases in which it missed cancer that was caught by radiologists, showing it to be fallible in some instances.

The researchers suggest that in the future the AI could work in tandem with medical professionals to prevent breast cancer from being missed and to avoid healthy women being subject to invasive biopsies and the stress of believing they may have cancer. 

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer occurring in women globally and will develop in around one in eight women in the UK and US at some point.

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