Scientists have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that may accurately predict which patients newly infected with the virus that causes Covid-19 would go on to develop severe respiratory disease.
The study, published in the journal Computers, Materials & Continua, also revealed the best indicators of future severity, and found that they were not as expected.
"While work remains to further validate our model, it holds promise as another tool to predict the patients most vulnerable to the virus, but only in support of physicians' hard-won clinical experience in treating viral infections," said Megan Coffee, a clinical assistant professor at New York University (NYU) in the US.
"Our goal was to design and deploy a decision-support tool using AI capabilities -- mostly predictive analytics -- to flag future clinical coronavirus severity," said Anasse Bari, a clinical assistant professor at New York University. "We hope that the tool, when fully developed, will be useful to physicians as they assess which moderately ill patients really need beds, and who can safely go home, with hospital resources stretched thin," Bari said.
For the study, demographic, laboratory, and radiological findings were collected from 53 patients as each tested positive in January for the SARS-CoV2 virus at the two Chinese hospitals.