Amid the coronavirus pandemic, doctors are treating patients. They must make life-or-death decisions daily about who gets treatment. That is much more complicated than it sounds. Thus, researchers in China are working to develop artificial intelligence tools for assisting doctors with those choices.
Nevertheless, there is another problem. The question is, should artificial intelligence be involved in life-and-death decisions.
There is crowded chaos in the hospital. Doctors dealing with a pandemic must make quick clinical decisions concerning the treatment of one patient over another.
One of the arguments is that a person with a better chance of fighting the decease gets resources over someone with minimal chances of survival. During such a decision, the aim is to prevent the worst-case scenario, which is that both die. Either because they were denied treatment, or because they had little chances anyway.
Thus, the other argument is that patients with the highest death risk must get treatment first.
Researchers from China claim that they have come up with a piece of artificial intelligence technology that will help doctors. It will help doctors to make more informed and rational decisions on who has the better chance of survival (or highest risk of death) among competing Covid-19 patients.
Some institutions that are working on the project include the Researches of Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, Hubei, and the HUST (Huazhong University of Science and Technology). They say that they have developed an artificial intelligence tool. Researchers claim that it can quickly analyze a sample of the blood for predicting the rates of survival.
Artificial Intelligence and Covid-19
The developers claim that artificial intelligence tools achieved 90 percent accuracy on the survival and fatality rates of more than 400 patients. It was based on their samples of blood collected from the date of admission to Tongji Hospital.
Moreover, they released the results of the ongoing study on the preprint server Medrxiv.org. The scientists from around the world are using that platform to publish non-peer reviewed research on Covid-19.
Yuan Ye is a professor with the school of artificial intelligence and automation at HUST. Yuan Ye leads the developers of the project. They hope to improve the accuracy of the system with a more significant database soon, says the paper.
The coronavirus causes pneumonia. Thus, the patients infected with pneumonia swamp hospitals around the world. The developers and researchers claim that artificial intelligence is helping short-handed medical staff. They help short-handed medical teams who have limited time and resources to decide which person gets treatment first.
In the paper, Yuan and other colleagues wrote that currently, there is no available prognostic biomarker for distinguishing patients that require immediate medical attention and their associated rate of mortality.
They add that the goal of their artificial intelligence system is to find high-risk patients before unstoppable lesions of the lung occur.
The outbreak of Covid-19 first came from central China, Wuhan. Scientists and doctors knew little about the new virus causing the disease.
Some of the patients have no underlying health problems and mild symptoms. Nevertheless, they can suddenly deteriorate into critical condition.
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