May 21, 2019

Google AI successfully IDs lung cancer

A Google artificial intelligence system was better than 6 radiologists at identifying whether patients had lung cancer, according to a new Nature Medicine study reported on by Stat News.

How it worked: When looking at a single CT scan, the algorithm detected 5% more cancers than the humans and reduced false positives by 11%. When prior images of patients were included in the evaluation, the algorithm performed the same as the radiologists.

Why it matters: Screening high-risk patients for lung cancer reduces the risk of death, but false positives can lead to unnecessary and potentially harmful surgeries.

  • About half of lung cancers are diagnosed after they have already spread.
  • "These people have a technology that will improve the precision of screening tremendously," Otis Brawley, an oncology professor at Johns Hopkins University, told Stat.

What next? The system will now be subject to further testing. Google acknowledged this, and said that it's already working with clinical partners and has had pre-submission discussions with the FDA.

Go deeper: Scientists call for rules on evaluating predictive AI in medicine

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.