Seeing health issues through Google Goggles

Take a couple of minutes to watch this:

Then contemplate whether these have a future.

Aside from the visual identification of drugs, Jessica Seilheimer has suggested Google Goggles has the potential to identify skin infections as part of its serving as an authoritative guide to a wide range of self-diagnostic questions that have unequivocal visual signifiers.

Google Goggles allows users to take photos that are then scanned by the application, and searched. Ideally, those searches would be ranked in order of relevance to resolve scanned images of skin conditions scanned to high quality evidence-based results such as those contained within Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines. The latter contains dermatological disease images, electrocardiograms, retinopathic pictures, and a variety of visual diagnostic aids.

It is relevant, reliable, timely, but not unfortunately not accessible unless you happen to have a license. It’s a shame that content that has such an immediate and obvious application is locked away behind a paywall rather than facilitating access to high quality health information for the 85% of online Europeans in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain who now turn to the Internet and other technologies for health and prescription drug information, as well as those seeking the same everywhere else in the world.

To what uses do you think Google Goggles could be put in healthcare?

Thank you, Phil Baumann, for being the first to bring this great new application for Android phones (sorry, iPhone owners) to my attention.

4 thoughts on “Seeing health issues through Google Goggles

  1. This is a very interesting thing to see. I am impressed by the speed and reliability of the shown service. But anyhow I am not sure it could be helpful for the newly suggested use.
    Especially for identifying skin conditions, colour is an extremely important information. And the reliability of digital photography in this respect is still very limited. That is still the major downside of electronic picture databases for Dermatology and the big advantage of printed materials.
    For more graphic things like ECGs and similar I see a much more reliable use.
    We all should follow the developments closely. Very interesting!!

  2. Hi Tobias

    Nice to hear from you, thanks for your comment. I thought this might set off your dermatology-radar :).

    Your point is well made, and it would be interesting to put a standard 1.3MB phone camera to the test. Baseline standards improve all the time for technology, of course, so even if the existing platforms aren’t quite capable of capturing the detail required (and that has yet to be proven), perhaps they will soon

    As you say, this is something to keep monitoring and talking about.


  3. Hi Andrew , this was a great video clip and definately a glimpse of the future. However think how much more fun beer goggles are.
    On a serious note I’ve enjoyed signing up to Side wiki. I feel like a school teacher giving feedback on all the lame websites I come across. have you tried it?

  4. Pingback: Macchie sulla pelle? Scatta la foto, postala sull’ I-Phone e ricevi la diagnosi di Google Goggles… « Life Marketing

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