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Your phone can help you identify common skin conditions

Google Lens, the visual search powerhouse, has now gone beyond its usual remit of identifying your backyard flora or avian visitor, it’s now serving as a preliminary skin check tool. Although not intended to replace professional medical evaluation, this feature comes as an unexpected but rather welcome enhancement.

With Google Lens, you can take a snap within the app, or upload a pre-existing image from your device, and the intelligent software will come back to you with image-based links that are visually akin to your input. Although it’s not infallible – in one instance, it confused a slightly elevated mole for a wart – the tool certainly helps when you have something you want to look up but lack the exact terminology to narrow down search results.

Hunting through endless pages of skin condition images to pinpoint your unique concern isn’t a pleasant or efficient experience. Google Lens aims to alleviate some of this burden.

Google stated, “Communicating the specifics of a peculiar mole or rash can be challenging using only words. Fortunately, Lens now offers a novel solution by enabling searches for skin conditions that visually resemble what you’ve noticed on your skin. This feature can be handy even when you’re uncertain about how to articulate other concerns, like a bump on your lip, a streak on your nails, or hair loss.”

Although this tool shouldn’t replace professional medical advice or treatment, it can provide a wealth of information about your concerns, especially if visiting a doctor is a challenge. This approach also ensures a degree of privacy that can make people more comfortable seeking help for minor conditions.

But if you’re cautious about your medical data being stored in the cloud, you’ll want to disable Google Lens saves in the Web & App Activity section of your Google Account first.

Furthermore, Google announced the integration of Google Lens with Bard, a generative AI chatbot, to provide real-time feedback on image prompts.

Beyond its new foray into skin condition identification, Google Lens continues to aid in translating foreign street signs, directions, and menus. A new feature enables users to upload an image of a food item with a “near me” command. The application will then provide a list (with images) of local spots where you can find the same or a similar dish.

The Google Lens app can be found on the Android platform, whereas iOS users can utilize the feature via the Google app. This new evolution of Google Lens opens up exciting prospects for the integration of technology and health, all while making our daily lives just a little bit easier.

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