By Emily Price
February 21, 2018

Scientists at Google’s health subsidiary Verily have figured out a way to determine someone’s risk of heart disease by just looking into their eyes.

Using scans of the back of a patient’s eye, scientists are able to determine things like the patient’s age, their blood pressure, and whether they smoke. That information can then be used to determine a person’s chances of suffering a cardiac event, The Verge reports.

A paper describing the work was published Wednesday in the journal Biomedical Engineering. Essentially, Google was able to create an algorithm based on analyzing eye scans and medical data for 300,000 patients.

Since the algorithm is able to analyze existing medical data, the hope is that artificial intelligence could eventually be used to provide medical insight into a patient without any direction from a medical professional.

Google’s method will still need more testing before it can be used in a clinical setting, but it shows promise. Tests of the idea have proven as effective as current methods, and the eye test is faster and less invasive than traditional blood tests used to perform the same tests.

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