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Helping doctors manage COVID-19

New tool uses AI technology to assess the severity of lung infections and inform treatment

Date:
May 28, 2021
Source:
University of Waterloo
Summary:
New artificial intelligence (AI) technology is capable of assessing the severity of COVID-19 cases with a promising degree of accuracy, researchers report.
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Artificial intelligence (AI) technology developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo is capable of assessing the severity of COVID-19 cases with a promising degree of accuracy.

A study, which is part of the COVID-Net open-source initiative launched more than a year ago, involved researchers from Waterloo and spin-off start-up company DarwinAI, as well as radiologists at the Stony Brook School of Medicine and the Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

Deep-learning AI was trained to analyze the extent and opacity of infection in the lungs of COVID-19 patients based on chest x-rays. Its scores were then compared to assessments of the same x-rays by expert radiologists.

For both extent and opacity, important indicators of the severity of infections, predictions made by the AI software were in good alignment with scores provided by the human experts.

Alexander Wong, a systems design engineering professor and co-founder of DarwinAI, said the technology could give doctors an important tool to help them manage cases.

"Assessing the severity of a patient with COVID-19 is a critical step in the clinical workflow for determining the best course of action for treatment and care, be it admitting the patient to ICU, giving a patient oxygen therapy, or putting a patient on a mechanical ventilator," Wong said.

"The promising results in this study show that artificial intelligence has a strong potential to be an effective tool for supporting frontline healthcare workers in their decisions and improving clinical efficiency, which is especially important given how much stress the ongoing pandemic has placed on healthcare systems around the world."

A paper on the research, "Towards computer-aided severity assessment via deep neural networks for geographic and opacity extent scoring of SARS-CoV-2 chest X-rays," appears in the journal Scientific Reports.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Waterloo. Original written by Brian Caldwell. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Wong, Z. Q. Lin, L. Wang, A. G. Chung, B. Shen, A. Abbasi, M. Hoshmand-Kochi, T. Q. Duong. Towards computer-aided severity assessment via deep neural networks for geographic and opacity extent scoring of SARS-CoV-2 chest X-rays. Scientific Reports, 2021; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-88538-4

Cite This Page:

University of Waterloo. "Helping doctors manage COVID-19." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2021. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210528085326.htm>.
University of Waterloo. (2021, May 28). Helping doctors manage COVID-19. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 21, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210528085326.htm
University of Waterloo. "Helping doctors manage COVID-19." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210528085326.htm (accessed July 21, 2024).

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