Beware “Security Cameras” In Doctors’ Offices

That gap in your teeth could lead to a gap in your insurance.

New technology claims to detect illness by looking at your face

CNN – A new artificial intelligence technology can accurately identify some rare genetic disorders using a photograph of a patient’s face, according to a new study.

The AI technology, called DeepGestalt, outperformed clinicians in identifying a range of syndromes in three trials and could add significant value in personalized care, according to the study published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine.

[It could also add a new way for insurers to raise your rates, or decide – “based on underwriting guidelines” – that you are simply too risky to insure. Cameras installed in hospitals, medical facilities, or insurance offices could all be used to capture images of your face to be used against you. – Ed.] 

DNA Test Kit Could Void Your Life Insurance

The study notes 8% of the population has diseases with key genetic components, and many have recognizable facial features.

The technology could identify, for example, Angelman syndrome, a disorder affecting the nervous system with characteristic features such as a wide mouth with widely spaced teeth, strabismus, where the eyes point in different directions, or a protruding tongue.

“It demonstrates how one can successfully apply state of the art algorithms, such as deep learning, to a challenging field where the available data is small, unbalanced in terms of available patients per condition, and where the need to support a large amount of conditions is great,” said Yaron Gurovich, chief technology officer at FDNA, an artificial intelligence and precision medicine company, who led the research.

This opens the door for future research and applications, and the identification of new genetic syndromes, he added.

But with facial images being easily accessible, this could lead to payers and employers potentially analyzing facial images and discriminating against individuals who have pre-existing conditions or developing medical complications, the authors warned. [Emphasis added.]

Geurovich and his team trained DeepGestalt, a deep learning algorithm, by using 17,000 facial images of patients from a database of patients diagnosed with over 200 distinct genetic syndromes.

The team found that the AI technology outperformed clinicians in two separate sets of tests.

In each test, AI identified the correct syndrome 91% of the time. Read more.