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In Journal of the American College of Radiology : JACR

PURPOSE : Deploying external artificial intelligence (AI) models locally can be logistically challenging. We aimed to use the ACR AI-LAB software platform for local testing of a chest radiograph (CXR) algorithm for COVID-19 lung disease severity assessment.

METHODS : An externally developed deep learning model for COVID-19 radiographic lung disease severity assessment was loaded into the AI-LAB platform at an independent academic medical center, which was separate from the institution in which the model was trained. The data set consisted of CXR images from 141 patients with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction-confirmed COVID-19, which were routed to AI-LAB for model inference. The model calculated a Pulmonary X-ray Severity (PXS) score for each image. This score was correlated with the average of a radiologist-based assessment of severity, the modified Radiographic Assessment of Lung Edema score, independently interpreted by three radiologists. The associations between the PXS score and patient admission and intubation or death were assessed.

RESULTS : The PXS score deployed in AI-LAB correlated with the radiologist-determined modified Radiographic Assessment of Lung Edema score (r = 0.80). PXS score was significantly higher in patients who were admitted (4.0 versus 1.3, P < .001) or intubated or died within 3 days (5.5 versus 3.3, P = .001).

CONCLUSIONS : AI-LAB was successfully used to test an external COVID-19 CXR AI algorithm on local data with relative ease, showing generalizability of the PXS score model. For AI models to scale and be clinically useful, software tools that facilitate the local testing process, like the freely available AI-LAB, will be important to cross the AI implementation gap in health care systems.

Ardestani Ali, Li Matthew D, Chea Pauley, Wortman Jeremy R, Medina Adam, Kalpathy-Cramer Jayashree, Wald Christoph


ACR AI-LAB, AI, COVID-19, chest radiograph, local testing