Your eyes really are the windows to your soul, or at least your heart.
Scientists at Google say they have developed new technology that can easily tell if a person is at risk of developing heart disease.
The new technology uses data gathered from a scan of the person’s eye and is able to tell their age, gender, blood blood pressure and whether or not they are or have been a smoker.
From this, Google’s software uses machine learning to accurately predict how likely the person is to suffer a heart attack.
The technology has been developed by Google and Verily Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet.
Google scientists trained their new algorithm to make predictions on data from more than 300,000 patients in the United States and United Kingdom, according to a report on the technology published in the Nature Biomedical Engineering Journal.
The algorithm used scans of a patient’s eye to build a picture of their general health, a technique which is already used in medical research.
Microscopic scans can reveal the amount of blood vessels in the back of a person’s eye which can help to give an insight into their general health.
Scientists said the new technology was beneficial because data can be obtained “quickly, cheaply and non-invasively”.
However, scientists also said that the technology didn’t outperform existing methods such as blood tests and despite the initial results being positive, more testing is required before the technology could become mainstream.
“More work must be done to develop and validate these findings on larger patient cohorts before this can arrive in a clinical setting,” Dr. Michael McConnell, the Head of Cardiovascular Health Innovations at Verily wrote in a blog post.