Google Health has announced a new collaboration with Apollo Radiology International for artificial intelligence (AI)-based early disease screening in India. The announcement came during the company’s annual The Check Up event. Under this partnership, the tech giant will offer its AI stack for early disease screening to Apollo. The focus will be on three specific diseases – tuberculosis, lung cancer and breast cancer. Notably, Google also announced that it is working with Fitbit to create a personal, health-oriented Large Language Model (LLM) that will be powered by Gemini.

IN blog post, Shravya Shetty, Principal Engineer, Health AI, Google Health, said, “Radiology is one area where expertise is critical to patient outcomes, but there aren’t always enough radiologists to meet patient needs. This is a situation where AI can make a difference. Our latest collaboration with Apollo Radiology International in India builds on these advances in AI in healthcare and brings them to communities across the country.” Under the partnership, Apollo Radiology International will provide three million free examinations in India over the next 10 years.

While Google Health and Apollo Group have been partnering for years, the focus of this particular collaboration is to improve patient outcomes in India by providing faster disease screening through the use of AI. The tech giant is enabling Apollo Radiology International to develop AI-based screening systems for tuberculosis, breast cancer and lung cancer.

Explaining the reason behind the decision for these specific diseases, the publication highlights that more than 1.3 million people die from tuberculosis worldwide. Google also claims that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in India, and the breast cancer death rate in India is three times higher than in the US. Google added that in most situations, early detection of the disease can significantly improve the chances of survival.

However, according to the publication, the main reason early detection is difficult in India is the lack of trained radiologists to interpret screening images at a rapid rate. This leads to a delay in early detection. In addition, sometimes they are not caught even after routine examinations, because radiologists do not look for the disease. Google said this is where AI can step in and deploy its disease detection capabilities at scale.

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