Google is keen on the whole “Don’t Be Evil” thing, so it is using its new high-powered artificial intelligence for good. Researchers at the company have developed an AI that can hopefully predict the likelihood that a patient will suffer a heart attack or stroke simply by staring into the patient’s eyes.
Apparently eyes are not only the window to the soul, but also heart health. Researchers have known that retinal blood vessels provide a clue to overall cardiovascular health for some years now, and Google is acting on that knowledge. According to USA Today, by looking at the images, 70% of the time Google’s AI was able to accurately predict which patient would experience a heart attack or other major cardiovascular event within five years. Google, which presented its findings Monday in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, says that such a method is as accurate as predicting cardiovascular disease through more invasive measures that involve sticking a needle in a patient’s arm.
This isn’t Google’s first foray into saving lives by staring deeply into our eyes. Back in 2016, it introduced a plan to use machine learning to study diabetic retinopathy, which is the number one cause of vision loss in diabetics. This may just be the beginning of Google’s foray into healthcare and diagnostics, which could give Amazon—and Star Trek—a run for their money.