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US Defense Department Selects Google Cloud to Develop Digital Pathology Tool

NEW YORK ─ The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) of the US Department of Defense has selected Google Cloud to develop an augmented reality microscope prototype for digital pathology-based cancer detection at the point of care, Google Cloud said on Wednesday.

Mountain View, California-based Google Cloud said that as part of the project, it would deliver the augmented reality microscope to DoD’s medical facilities, enabling access to artificial intelligence models that can help military doctors with cancer detection.

Financial and other terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

Google Cloud said it will leverage TensorFlow, an open-source framework for machine-learning models, and the Google Cloud Healthcare API for data ingestion and de-identification to maximize patient privacy. The AI-based models were developed from public and private datasets that were de-identified to remove personal health and other information.

The goal of the DIU-Google Cloud project is to help lower healthcare costs, improve the accuracy of diagnoses, and assist physicians who face an overwhelming volume of data while making diagnostic and treatment decisions, Google Cloud said.  

Initial rollout will be to select Defense Health Agency treatment facilities and Veteran’s Affairs hospitals in the US. Plans are in place to expand across the broader US military health system.

The DoD’s Joint AI Center is providing funding and technical expertise for the project.

Early access to the digital pathology platform is for research use only.