skip to main content

Title: Adapting for the COVID-19 pandemic in Ecuador, a characterization of hospital strategies and patients
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. In Ecuador, the first case of COVID-19 was recorded on 29 February 2020. Despite efforts to control its spread, SARS-CoV-2 overran the Ecuadorian public health system, which became one of the most affected in Latin America on 24 April 2020. The Hospital General del Sur de Quito (HGSQ) had to transition from a general to a specific COVID-19 health center in a short period of time to fulfill the health demand from patients with respiratory afflictions. Here, we summarized the implementations applied in the HGSQ to become a COVID-19 exclusive hospital, including the rearrangement of hospital rooms and a triage strategy based on a severity score calculated through an artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted chest computed tomography (CT). Moreover, we present clinical, epidemiological, and laboratory data from 75 laboratory tested COVID-19 patients, which represent the first outbreak of Quito city. The majority of patients were male with a median age of 50 years. We found differences in laboratory parameters between intensive care unit (ICU) and non-ICU cases considering C-reactive protein, lactate dehydrogenase, and lymphocytes. Sensitivity and specificity of the AI-assisted chest CT were 21.4% and 66.7%, more » respectively, when considering a score >70%; regardless, this system became a cornerstone of hospital triage due to the lack of RT-PCR testing and timely results. If health workers act as vectors of SARS-CoV-2 at their domiciles, they can seed outbreaks that might put 1,879,047 people at risk of infection within 15 km around the hospital. Despite our limited sample size, the information presented can be used as a local example that might aid future responses in low and middle-income countries facing respiratory transmitted epidemics. « less
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Calderaro, Adriana
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus (SARS-CoV-2). The virus transmits rapidly; it has a basic reproductive number (R0) of 2.2-2.7. In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. COVID-19 is currently affecting more than 200 countries with 6M active cases. An effective testing strategy for COVID-19 is crucial to controlling the outbreak but the demand for testing surpasses the availability of test kits that use Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). In this paper, we present a technique to screen for COVID-19 using artificial intelligence. Our technique takes only seconds to screen for the presence of the virus in a patient. We collected a dataset of chest X-ray images and trained several popular deep convolution neural network-based models (VGG, MobileNet, Xception, DenseNet, InceptionResNet) to classify the chest X-rays. Unsatisfied with these models, we then designed and built a Residual Attention Network that was able to screen COVID-19 with a testing accuracy of 98% and a validation accuracy of 100%. A feature maps visual of our model show areas in a chest X-ray which are important for classification. Our work can help to increase the adaptation of AI-assistedmore »applications in clinical practice. The code and dataset used in this project are available at« less
  2. Background . New York City (NYC) experienced an initial surge and gradual decline in the number of SARS-CoV-2-confirmed cases in 2020. A change in the pattern of laboratory test results in COVID-19 patients over this time has not been reported or correlated with patient outcome. Methods . We performed a retrospective study of routine laboratory and SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test results from 5,785 patients evaluated in a NYC hospital emergency department from March to June employing machine learning analysis. Results . A COVID-19 high-risk laboratory test result profile (COVID19-HRP), consisting of 21 routine blood tests, was identified to characterize the SARS-CoV-2 patients. Approximately half of the SARS-CoV-2 positive patients had the distinct COVID19-HRP that separated them from SARS-CoV-2 negative patients. SARS-CoV-2 patients with the COVID19-HRP had higher SARS-CoV-2 viral loads, determined by cycle threshold values from the RT-PCR, and poorer clinical outcome compared to other positive patients without the COVID12-HRP. Furthermore, the percentage of SARS-CoV-2 patients with the COVID19-HRP has significantly decreased from March/April to May/June. Notably, viral load in the SARS-CoV-2 patients declined, and their laboratory profile became less distinguishable from SARS-CoV-2 negative patients in the later phase. Conclusions . Our longitudinal analysis illustrates the temporal change of laboratory testmore »result profile in SARS-CoV-2 patients and the COVID-19 evolvement in a US epicenter. This analysis could become an important tool in COVID-19 population disease severity tracking and prediction. In addition, this analysis may play an important role in prioritizing high-risk patients, assisting in patient triaging and optimizing the usage of resources.« less
  3. Background The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and its associated disease, COVID-19, have caused worldwide disruption, leading countries to take drastic measures to address the progression of the disease. As SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread, hospitals are struggling to allocate resources to patients who are most at risk. In this context, it has become important to develop models that can accurately predict the severity of infection of hospitalized patients to help guide triage, planning, and resource allocation. Objective The aim of this study was to develop accurate models to predict the mortality of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 using basic demographics and easily obtainable laboratory data. Methods We performed a retrospective study of 375 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. The patients were randomly split into derivation and validation cohorts. Regularized logistic regression and support vector machine classifiers were trained on the derivation cohort, and accuracy metrics (F1 scores) were computed on the validation cohort. Two types of models were developed: the first type used laboratory findings from the entire length of the patient’s hospital stay, and the second type used laboratory findings that were obtained no later than 12 hours after admission. The models were further validated on a multicenter external cohortmore »of 542 patients. Results Of the 375 patients with COVID-19, 174 (46.4%) died of the infection. The study cohort was composed of 224/375 men (59.7%) and 151/375 women (40.3%), with a mean age of 58.83 years (SD 16.46). The models developed using data from throughout the patients’ length of stay demonstrated accuracies as high as 97%, whereas the models with admission laboratory variables possessed accuracies of up to 93%. The latter models predicted patient outcomes an average of 11.5 days in advance. Key variables such as lactate dehydrogenase, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and percentage of lymphocytes in the blood were indicated by the models. In line with previous studies, age was also found to be an important variable in predicting mortality. In particular, the mean age of patients who survived COVID-19 infection (50.23 years, SD 15.02) was significantly lower than the mean age of patients who died of the infection (68.75 years, SD 11.83; P<.001). Conclusions Machine learning models can be successfully employed to accurately predict outcomes of patients with COVID-19. Our models achieved high accuracies and could predict outcomes more than one week in advance; this promising result suggests that these models can be highly useful for resource allocation in hospitals.« less
  4. The new coronavirus (now named SARS-CoV-2) causing the disease pandemic in 2019 (COVID-19), has so far infected over 35 million people worldwide and killed more than 1 million. Most people with COVID-19 have no symptoms or only mild symptoms. But some become seriously ill and need hospitalization. The sickest are admitted to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and may need mechanical ventilation to help them breath. Being able to predict which patients with COVID-19 will become severely ill could help hospitals around the world manage the huge influx of patients caused by the pandemic and save lives. Now, Hao, Sotudian, Wang, Xu et al. show that computer models using artificial intelligence technology can help predict which COVID-19 patients will be hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, or need mechanical ventilation. Using data of 2,566 COVID-19 patients from five Massachusetts hospitals, Hao et al. created three separate models that can predict hospitalization, ICU admission, and the need for mechanical ventilation with more than 86% accuracy, based on patient characteristics, clinical symptoms, laboratory results and chest x-rays. Hao et al. found that the patients’ vital signs, age, obesity, difficulty breathing, and underlying diseases like diabetes, were the strongest predictors of the need formore »hospitalization. Being male, having diabetes, cloudy chest x-rays, and certain laboratory results were the most important risk factors for intensive care treatment and mechanical ventilation. Laboratory results suggesting tissue damage, severe inflammation or oxygen deprivation in the body's tissues were important warning signs of severe disease. The results provide a more detailed picture of the patients who are likely to suffer from severe forms of COVID-19. Using the predictive models may help physicians identify patients who appear okay but need closer monitoring and more aggressive treatment. The models may also help policy makers decide who needs workplace accommodations such as being allowed to work from home, which individuals may benefit from more frequent testing, and who should be prioritized for vaccination when a vaccine becomes available.« less
  5. Abstract

    During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, rapid and accurate triage of patients at the emergency department is critical to inform decision-making. We propose a data-driven approach for automatic prediction of deterioration risk using a deep neural network that learns from chest X-ray images and a gradient boosting model that learns from routine clinical variables. Our AI prognosis system, trained using data from 3661 patients, achieves an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.786 (95% CI: 0.745–0.830) when predicting deterioration within 96 hours. The deep neural network extracts informative areas of chest X-ray images to assist clinicians in interpreting the predictions and performs comparably to two radiologists in a reader study. In order to verify performance in a real clinical setting, we silently deployed a preliminary version of the deep neural network at New York University Langone Health during the first wave of the pandemic, which produced accurate predictions in real-time. In summary, our findings demonstrate the potential of the proposed system for assisting front-line physicians in the triage of COVID-19 patients.