You can now use your phone to identify skin conditions with the help of Google Lens. While it is not intended to replace medical screening, the visual search function of Google Lens has expanded its capabilities beyond identifying plants and birds to acting as a preliminary skin check tool. By simply taking a photo within the Google app or uploading an image from your library, Google Lens will provide you with image-based links that best match your picture. Although it may not be flawless, as it can occasionally misidentify certain conditions, it does allow you to search for something you may have difficulty describing in words and narrow down search results. This feature alleviates the tedious task of sifting through countless images of skin conditions in search of your specific issue, making the process less burdensome.
Google stated, “Describing an odd mole or rash on your skin can be hard to do with words alone. Fortunately, there’s a new way Lens can help, with the ability to search skin conditions that are visually similar to what you see on your skin. This feature also works if you’re not sure how to describe something else on your body, like a bump on your lip, a line on your nails or hair loss on your head.”
While this tool should not replace professional treatment and diagnosis, it can provide valuable information about your concerns, especially when visiting a doctor is difficult. Additionally, it offers a degree of privacy that can encourage people to seek help for minor conditions. However, it’s important to note that activity is saved to the cloud. If you are concerned about your medical history being stored in this domain, you can disable Google Lens saves in the Web & App Activity section of your Google Account.
Furthermore, Google announced that Google Lens will be integrated into the generative AI chatbot Bard, allowing for real-time feedback on image prompts.
Google Lens already assists users with visual cues such as translating foreign street signs, directions, and menus. Some of the new features include uploading an image of a specific type of food with a “near me” prompt, which will provide a list of local spots where you can potentially find the item or dish, complete with pictures.