Selfies helping to make advances in medicine

Selfies could help with diagnoses

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - If you have a smartphone you've no doubt taken one -- selfies are one of the most popular pictures on social media. And now they might be able to do more than just show everyone how pretty you are.

A simple picture could actually help diagnose rare genetic disorders in children.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health used common facial recognition software to diagnose a rare genetic disease called DiGeorge syndrome using just photos.

It's part of the National Human Genome Research Institute. Doctors in 11 countries submitted photos to compare those with the disease and those without. They were able to make a correct diagnosis 96 percent of the time.

They've already completed a study with Down syndrome, next they are going to focus one Noonan syndrome and Williams syndrome.

These genetic diseases have complications that can sometimes be life threatening.

There are more clinical trials needed and then FDA approval. But, the goal is for doctors in areas that may not have state of the art equipment to be able to snap a pic with their smartphone and receive instant results if they suspect a child may have one of these genetic conditions.

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