Among the most common symptoms of severe COVID-19 cases is the need for patients to be placed on ventilators to ensure they can continue to receive enough oxygen while breathing.
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have developed an online tool to help medical staff quickly determine which COVID-19 patients will need help breathing with a ventilator.
Shortage of respirators
The tool, developed through the analysis of CT scans of nearly 900 COVID-19 patients diagnosed in 2020, was able to predict the need for a ventilator with 84% accuracy .
To date, clinicians have lacked a consistent and reliable way to identify which newly admitted COVID-19 patients are likely to need ventilators, but these CT scans revealed, with the help of deep learning algorithms, distinctive characteristics for patients who later they ended up in the intensive care unit (ICU) and needed help breathing .
According to Amogh Hiremath , a graduate student and lead author of the study , which has been published in the IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics :
This tool would allow medical workers to administer medications or supportive interventions earlier to slow the progression of the disease. And it would allow early identification of those most at risk of developing severe acute respiratory distress syndrome or death. These are the patients who are ideal candidates for the ventilator.