Study Details First Artificial Intelligence Tool to Help Labs Rule-out COVID-19

Hospital-based laboratories and doctors at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic might soon add artificial intelligence to their testing toolkit. A recent study conducted with collaborators from the University of Vermont and Cedars-Sinai describes the performance of Biocogniv's new AI-COVID™ software. The team found high accuracy in predicting the probability of COVID-19 infection using routine blood tests, which can help hospitals reduce the number of patients referred for scarce PCR testing.

"Nine months into this pandemic, we now have a better understanding of how to care for patients with COVID-19," says lead author and University of Vermont Assistant Professor Timothy Plante, M.D., M.H.S., "but there's still a big bottleneck in COVID-19 diagnosis with PCR testing."

PCR testing is the current standard diagnostic for COVID-19, and requires specific sampling, like a nasal swab, and specialized laboratory equipment to run.

Biocogniv Chief Operating Officer Tanya Kanigan, Ph.D., says, "According to data from over 100 US hospitals, the national average turnaround time for COVID-19 tests ordered in emergency rooms is above 24 hours, far from the targeted one-hour turnaround."

Complete Blood Count and Complete Metabolic Panels are common laboratory tests ordered by emergency departments and have a rapid turnaround time. These tests provide insight into the immune system, electrolytes, kidney, and liver. The researchers were able to train a model that analyzes changes in these routine tests and assigns a probability of the patient being COVID-19 negative with high accuracy.

"AI-COVID takes seconds to generate its informative result once these blood tests return, which can then be incorporated by the laboratory into its own test interpretation," says Jennifer Joe, M.D., an emergency physician in Boston, Mass. and Biocogniv's Chief Medical Officer. "In an efficient emergency department that prioritizes these routine blood tests, the door-to-result time could be under an hour."

Cedars-Sinai pulmonary and internal medicine specialist Victor Tapson, M.D., says such assistive tools that help physicians rule out possible diagnoses are familiar in emergency medicine.

"For example, a low D-dimer blood test can help us rule out clots in certain patients, allowing providers to skip expensive, often time-consuming diagnostics such as chest CT scans," says Tapson.

The Biocogniv team believes a secondary benefit of laboratories incorporating AI-COVID might be reduced time for traditional PCR results.

"With the help of AI-COVID, laboratories might relieve some of the testing bottleneck by helping providers better allocate rapid PCR testing for patients who really need it," says Joe.

The AI-COVID model was validated on real world data from Cedars-Sinai as well as on data from geographically and demographically diverse patient encounters from 22 U.S. hospitals, achieving an area under the curve (or AUC) of 0.91 out of 1.00.

"This enables the model to achieve a high sensitivity of 95% while maintaining moderate specificity of 49%, which is very similar to the performance of other commonly used rule-out tests," says Biocogniv Chief Scientific Officer George Hauser, MD, a pathologist.

Biocogniv CEO Artur Adib, Ph.D., says, "I'm honored to have such an impressive team of medical scientists from the University of Vermont and Cedars-Sinai as collaborators in validating this timely model. AI has progressed considerably; the time is now to leverage this powerful tool for new healthcare breakthroughs, and we're glad to direct it to help hospital laboratories and providers combat the current COVID-19 crisis."

Plante TB, Blau AM, Berg AN, Weinberg AS, Jun IC, Tapson VF, Kanigan TS, Adib AB.
Development and External Validation of a Machine Learning Tool to Rule Out COVID-19 Among Adults in the Emergency Department Using Routine Blood Tests: A Large, Multicenter, Real-World Study.
J Med Internet Res 2020. doi: 10.2196/24048

Most Popular Now

Applications Open for SpinLab Accelerato…

The start-up accelerator supports entrepreneurial and innovative teams that want to grow sustainably and successfully scale their business model. With a strong hands-on mentality and a lot of passion, the...

Bayer to Accelerate Drug Discovery with …

Bayer AG and Google Cloud today announced a collaboration to drive early drug discovery that will apply Google Cloud's Tensor Processing Units (TPUs), which are custom-developed accelerators designed to run...

Allscripts Announces Corporate Name Chan…

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. announced that, effective January 1, 2023, it has changed its name to Veradigm Inc. (NASDAQ: MDRX). Allscripts had been transitioning its solutions to the Veradigm brand...

220M€ Investment in Testing and Experime…

To make the EU the place where AI excellence thrives from the lab to the market, the European Union is setting up world-class Testing and Experimentation Facilities (TEFs) for AI. Together...

AI Tool Developed to Predict Risk of Lun…

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and around the world. Low-dose chest computed tomography (LDCT) is recommended to screen people between 50 and...

Bayer Acquires Blackford Analysis Ltd. B…

Bayer announced the acquisition of the global strategic imaging AI platform and solutions provider Blackford Analysis Ltd. The acquisition is part of Bayer's strategy to drive innovation in radiology, including...

Artificial Nerve Cells - Almost Like Bio…

Researchers at Linköping University (LiU), Sweden, have created an artificial organic neuron that closely mimics the characteristics of biological nerve cells. This artificial neuron can stimulate natural nerves, making it...

Veradigm Announces Strategic Investment …

Veradigm Inc. (NASDAQ: MDRX), formerly Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc., announced an investment in Holmusk, a global behavioral health real-world evidence and data analytics company, as part of Holmusk's $45 million...

For Shared Decision-Making, Telemedicine…

Telemedicine may be just as effective as in-person visits when it comes to shared decision-making and communication for patients undergoing a first-time surgery consultation, according to a study published as...

A Blood Test for Cancer Shows Promise Th…

A team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin­-Madison has successfully combined genomics with machine learning in the quest to develop accessible tests that allow earlier detection of cancer. For many...

Open Call HORIZON-HLTH-2023-STAYHLTH-01:…

This topic aims at supporting activities that are enabling or contributing to one or several impacts of destination 1 "Staying healthy in a rapidly changing society". To that end, proposals...

Biomedical Institutions Agree on a Set o…

Eighty stakeholders from twenty major biomedical research institutions across the globe have agreed upon a list of 19 open science practices to be implemented and monitored. The study, led by...