Microsoft Can Detect Lung Cancer Earlier by Looking at User Search Data


#Microsoft #LungCancerMicrosoft Can Detect Lung Cancer Earlier by Looking at User Search Data : Microsoft Research has found a new way to detect lung cancer earlier by simply analyzing user search queries and keeping an eye on specific keywords that could indicate signs of disease.

A research paper that was published in JAMA Oncology reveals that Microsoft has found a connection between the searches that users perform online and the diagnosis that is performed way later (which in many cases, unfortunately, is too late).

Specifically, Microsoft analyzed Bing searches for queries such as “I was just diagnosed with lung cancer,” and then started an analysis of searches performed by the same user in the months and years before this. Scientists looked at the search history for queries that could be related to the disease, including symptoms, but also demographics.

For example, Microsoft was particularly interested in detecting searches for common lung cancer symptoms, including bronchitis and chest pain, but also for factors that could cause the disease, like smoking or exposure to radon gas.

Using demographic data, Microsoft was able to create a connection between searches, location, and possible symptoms of lung cancer, explaining that in the end, this complex algorithm could help give a warning no less than one year earlier before the typical time when cancer is detected.

39 percent success rate

According to Microsoft itself, the success rate is currently at 39 percent, and even though this means that more than half of users could get a false alarm, it’s particularly critical for those who might be suffering from lung cancer to actually go to a medic.

This is actually the purpose of the tech after all, as even though there might be false positives, there’s nothing wrong in going to a doctor to make sure you’re healthy. But in the case of those who are indeed suffering from lung cancer, getting a warning one year earlier could be live-saving.

For the moment, Microsoft is still looking into ways to improve the success rate of this tech and is also considering some ways of making it easier to use.

An application that would monitor searches with users’ consent is also on the table, as this could be a very simple way to always stay alerted of symptoms that could warn of diseases such as cancer. Source: Softpedia