How Artificial Intelligence Is Revolutionizing Aesthetic Medicine
From virtually trying on lipstick shades to editing selfies before sharing on social media, technology has transformed the beauty industry in recent years. And with artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and machine learning (ML) tools now available in the palm of our hands, it is no surprise that consumers are eager to see them utilized in the aesthetics space, too.
Earlier this year, AEDIT teamed up with Acupoll to poll 1,000 men and women ages 18 and over, and the results are clear: 44 percent of survey respondents wish there was a way to see how cosmetic surgery would affect their face before taking the leap. This desire is greater for younger women, with 50 percent of millennials and gen Z and 51 percent of women showing interest in the ability to predict the outcome of aesthetic procedures. Moreover, 55 percent of adults indicated that they would be interested in an app or website that allows them to see how treatments affect their appearance in a medically accurate way.
Enter: The AEDITOR. Available exclusively in the AEDIT iOS app, The AEDITOR delivers the experience of a 3D aesthetic consultation to your smartphone. “The AEDITOR technology is something that previously was only available by scheduling an appointment and heading into the doctor's office,” says Matthew Powers, AEDIT’s CTO and head of product. “Up until now consumers were not empowered to see what they could potentially look like with some of the most popular treatments on the market today.”
What Is The AEDITOR?
AEDIT is the brainchild of William A. Kennedy III, MD, a board certified head and neck surgeon, fellowship-trained in facial plastic and constructive surgery, who set out to create a platform that could offer patients unbiased and trusted information about every cosmetic procedure available. “The concept has more or less stayed the same since I first met Bill,” Powers says of the early days of AEDIT. “He wanted to create a technology platform that helped people make decisions, and that's exactly what we are doing.”
More than three years in the making, The AEDITOR is at the center of AEDIT’s mission to educate and empower consumers. Developed by AEDIT’s in-house tech team, the patented technology employs the 3D facial editing technology once only available to medical professionals to allow users to ‘try on’ popular cosmetic procedures (think: hyaluronic acid-based lip filler, brow lifts, and rhinoplasty to name a few) and instantly visualize medically accurate results that are unique to their facial proportions.
The AEDITOR eliminates the fear of unexpected or unnatural results and allows users to gain a deeper understanding of what’s possible with surgical and non-surgical aesthetic treatments. Just snap a selfie and use the patented AR/AI morphing technology to simulate facial cosmetic procedures. Users can instantly discover personalized, realistic results anytime, anywhere.
How The AEDITOR Came to Be
With multiple patents focused on 3D reconstruction methodologies and simulation of plastic surgery treatments, The AEDITOR has established itself as the premier medically accurate facial morphing technology developed specifically for consumers. Below, Powers shares how the product came to be and what differentiates it from other AI/AR/ML technologies in the market.
Question: How long has The AEDITOR been in development?
Powers: The AEDITOR and AEDIT app have been in production for more than three years in one shape or form. The number one rule in data science is: data, data, data. When we were just starting out we had none. We had no feedback from users; we had no clue if our algorithms were working properly. The most important thing that we did early on was to get an app out the door, which allowed us to refine our machine learning models.
Question: What was one of the toughest hurdles to cross while building the app?
Powers: The entire application has been challenging, but I think nothing stands out more than the cold start issue. We had no reference point, no north star, and, certainly, no data. Imagine having to build a rhinoplasty simulation with no before and after photos of rhinoplasty. We had to make sure our technology could scale across thousands of different genders, ethnicities, ages, and feature types. Early on, I remember taking thousands of images and actually photoshopping ‘afters’ so that we could make reference sets to build our technology from.
Question: What makes The AEDITOR different from other AI/AR/ML tools in the beauty and aesthetics space?
Powers: In the ‘try it on space’ there are really no competitors that do what we do. There are analogous products like Facetune and FaceApp, but those are not medically accurate and are meant to be used on social media. Our application is the only 3D medically accurate beauty app that allows users to try on procedures. The medically accurate applications, like Vectra and Crisalix, are more physician-focused, so they don’t compete in the consumer space. Additionally, our technology runs across platforms. It's not just confined to the iPhone. People can scan their faces and we can render it on any web-enabled device.
Question: How many points of the face does The AEDITOR plot when taking a 3D scan?
Thousands. If we were talking about a 2D-only application, we would be on par with some other popular facial recognition platforms on the market today like Face++ or Algoface. But, when you combine those points with our 3D meshes, we are able to account for thousands of points on the human face. Currently, we allow the user to ‘try on’ eight different treatments across five areas of the face.
Question: What allows The AEDITOR to deliver medically accurate results?
Powers: Before the iPhone 10, most AR applications used synthetic depth or radio depth information from RGB images or dual cameras. We are able to exploit the trudepth camera capabilities on the iPhone and combine that with RGB images. This technology previously needed special hardware and was confined to the doctor’s office. Internally, AEDIT has a ‘suite’ of apps that we use to ensure the accuracy of the 3D readers and the deformations (morphs) of the user's face. Bill and I meet many times each week to combine his subject matter expertise with our tech team's capabilities.
Question: What is the process of building out a new procedure morph or body part?
Powers: It's actually a multi-disciplinary approach. We have computer vision engineers, 3D engineers, computer graphics engineers, integration engineers, and our iOS team. It's really no small feat to just get the engineering portion done correctly. In addition, we have all kind of had to become plastic surgeons in our own right, as we have to understand the problem space, collect samples of data, create the algorithms, apply those to the samples, validate the application, launch it, and then measure and iterate.
As artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and machine learning continues to offer consumers and patients more unique and personalized experiences throughout all aspects of life, there is no question patients will demand the same of their aesthetic journey. Powers sees that as the ultimate opportunity for AEDIT. “There are so many ways The AEDITOR can go, and our user base certainly will dictate portions of that,” he says. “With that said, we have aggressive plans to make our 3D scanning technology bar none the highest quality and most realistic human mobile scanning technology on the planet.” Download the AEDIT iOS app to experience The AEDITOR and everything else AEDIT has to offer.