Recently, the team of the Radiology Department from Xiangya Hospital, Central South University led by Professor Liao Weihua joined hands with the University of Pennsylvania and the team of Professor Harrison X Bai of Brown University to develop an artificial intelligence system by analyzing data from multiple centers in the United States. The result has been published in Lancet Digital Health (IF：24.519) as an original article. Professor Liao is the co-corresponding author. This system aims to use chest x-rays and clinical data to predict disease severity and progression of patients with COVID-19, contributing experience and achievements in the global fight against COVID-19.
Professor Liao noted that China has controlled the pandemic while epidemic prevention and control in many foreign countries, especially the United States, still face many challenges. Against this background, assessment of prognosis for patients with COVID-19 is quite important. Featuring low radiation, quick operation and low cost, chest x-ray is an important tool to screen and assess prognosis of COVID-19 patients. Professor Liao’s team divided 1834 patients into training, validation, and test sets (7:1:2), and 475 patients who presented via the Brown University affiliated hospitals were identified for external testing of the models. Using the chest x-rays as input to an EfficientNet deep neural network and clinical data, models were developed and trained to predict the disease severity. In patients with COVID-19, artificial intelligence based on chest x-rays had better prognostic performance than clinical data or radiologist-derived severity scores. Using artificial intelligence, chest x-rays can augment clinical data in predicting the risk of progression to critical illness in patients with COVID-19.
Professor Liao said that the Radiology Department of Xiangya Hospital has been positively sharing research experience about COVID-19 with the international community, and conducting effective international cooperation of multi-center scientific research to jointly respond to the pandemic. This practice is a successful example for the international cooperation of the radiology research team. Professor Liao called for more exchange and cooperation with international imaging community during the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He also emphasized that we should share more resources to defeat COVID-19 with solidarity and resolution.
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Xiangya Hospital Central South University
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