Weakly Supervised Deep Learning for COVID-19 Infection Detection and Classification from CT Images

04/14/2020
by   Shaoping Hu, et al.
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An outbreak of a novel coronavirus disease (i.e., COVID-19) has been recorded in Wuhan, China since late December 2019, which subsequently became pandemic around the world. Although COVID-19 is an acutely treated disease, it can also be fatal with a risk of fatality of 4.03 Algeria and 12.67 may result in death as a consequence of substantial alveolar damage and progressive respiratory failure. Although laboratory testing, e.g., using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), is the golden standard for clinical diagnosis, the tests may produce false negatives. Moreover, under the pandemic situation, shortage of RT-PCR testing resources may also delay the following clinical decision and treatment. Under such circumstances, chest CT imaging has become a valuable tool for both diagnosis and prognosis of COVID-19 patients. In this study, we propose a weakly supervised deep learning strategy for detecting and classifying COVID-19 infection from CT images. The proposed method can minimise the requirements of manual labelling of CT images but still be able to obtain accurate infection detection and distinguish COVID-19 from non-COVID-19 cases. Based on the promising results obtained qualitatively and quantitatively, we can envisage a wide deployment of our developed technique in large-scale clinical studies.

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