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In Cureus

BACKGROUND : The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted the world since 2019, causing significant morbidity and mortality in developed and developing countries alike. Although substantial resources have been diverted to developing diagnostic, preventative, and treatment measures, disparities in the availability and efficacy of these tools vary across countries. We seek to assess the ability of commercial artificial intelligence (AI) technology to diagnose COVID-19 by analyzing chest radiographs.

MATERIALS AND METHODS : Chest radiographs taken from symptomatic patients within two days of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests were assessed for COVID-19 infection by board-certified radiologists and commercially available AI software. Sixty patients with negative and 60 with positive COVID reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests were chosen. Results were compared against results of the PCR test for accuracy and statistically analyzed by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves along with area under the curve (AUC) values.

RESULTS : A total of 120 chest radiographs (60 positive and 60 negative RT-PCR tests) radiographs were analyzed. The AI software performed significantly better than chance (p = 0.001) and did not differ significantly from the radiologist ROC curve (p = 0.78).

CONCLUSION : Commercially available AI software was not inferior compared with trained radiologists in accurately identifying COVID-19 cases by analyzing radiographs. While RT-PCR testing remains the standard, current advances in AI help correctly analyze chest radiographs to diagnose COVID-19 infection.

Baruah Dhiraj, Runge Louis, Jones Richard H, Collins Heather R, Kabakus Ismail M, McBee Morgan P


artificial intelligence, chest radiography, covid, receiver operating characteristic (roc) analysis, rt-pcr