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In Journal of healthcare engineering

The world is experiencing an unprecedented crisis due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak that has affected nearly 216 countries and territories across the globe. Since the pandemic outbreak, there is a growing interest in computational model-based diagnostic technologies to support the screening and diagnosis of COVID-19 cases using medical imaging such as chest X-ray (CXR) scans. It is discovered in initial studies that patients infected with COVID-19 show abnormalities in their CXR images that represent specific radiological patterns. Still, detection of these patterns is challenging and time-consuming even for skilled radiologists. In this study, we propose a novel convolutional neural network- (CNN-) based deep learning fusion framework using the transfer learning concept where parameters (weights) from different models are combined into a single model to extract features from images which are then fed to a custom classifier for prediction. We use gradient-weighted class activation mapping to visualize the infected areas of CXR images. Furthermore, we provide feature representation through visualization to gain a deeper understanding of the class separability of the studied models with respect to COVID-19 detection. Cross-validation studies are used to assess the performance of the proposed models using open-access datasets containing healthy and both COVID-19 and other pneumonia infected CXR images. Evaluation results show that the best performing fusion model can attain a classification accuracy of 95.49% with a high level of sensitivity and specificity.

Shorfuzzaman Mohammad, Masud Mehedi, Alhumyani Hesham, Anand Divya, Singh Aman