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COVID-19 diagnosis by routine blood tests using machine learning

06/04/2020
by   Matjaž Kukar, et al.
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Physicians taking care of patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have described different changes in routine blood parameters. However, these changes, hinder them from performing COVID-19 diagnosis. We constructed a machine learning predictive model for COVID-19 diagnosis. The model was based and cross-validated on the routine blood tests of 5,333 patients with various bacterial and viral infections, and 160 COVID-19-positive patients. We selected operational ROC point at a sensitivity of 81.9 cross-validated area under the curve (AUC) was 0.97. The five most useful routine blood parameters for COVID19 diagnosis according to the feature importance scoring of the XGBoost algorithm were MCHC, eosinophil count, albumin, INR, and prothrombin activity percentage. tSNE visualization showed that the blood parameters of the patients with severe COVID-19 course are more like the parameters of bacterial than viral infection. The reported diagnostic accuracy is at least comparable and probably complementary to RT-PCR and chest CT studies. Patients with fever, cough, myalgia, and other symptoms can now have initial routine blood tests assessed by our diagnostic tool. All patients with a positive COVID-19 prediction would then undergo standard RT-PCR studies to confirm the diagnosis. We believe that our results present a significant contribution to improvements in COVID-19 diagnosis.

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