Google has unveiled a tool that uses artificial intelligence to help detect skin, hair and nail conditions, based on images uploaded by patients.

The AI ??application has been licensed for use as a medical device in Europe. A cancer expert said AI advances could allow doctors to provide more tailored treatment for patients.

"AI can recognize 288 skin conditions, but it was not created to replace diagnosis and medical treatment," Google said.

It took three years to develop and was trained in a dataset of 65,000 images of diagnosed conditions, as well as millions of images showing signs that people are worried about and thousands of pictures of healthy skin, in all shades and tones. The app also requires patients to answer a series of online questions.

Currently none of these tools have been approved as an alternative to human diagnosis. Google says it has about 10 billion searches for skin, hair and nails in its search engine each year.

The doctors and developers involved said AI is optimized to avoid delaying the diagnosis of skin cancer or other serious conditions and people will be advised what to do.