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In The Indian journal of radiology & imaging

Background : Whether the sensitivity of Deep Learning (DL) models to screen chest radiographs (CXR) for CoVID-19 can approximate that of radiologists, so that they can be adopted and used if real-time review of CXRs by radiologists is not possible, has not been explored before.

Objective : To evaluate the diagnostic performance of a doctor-trained DL model (Svita_DL8) to screen for COVID-19 on CXR, and to compare the performance of the DL model with that of expert radiologists.

Materials and Methods : We used a pre-trained convolutional neural network to develop a publicly available online DL model to evaluate CXR examinations saved in .jpeg or .png format. The initial model was subsequently curated and trained by an internist and a radiologist using 1062 chest radiographs to classify a submitted CXR as either normal, COVID-19, or a non-COVID-19 abnormal. For validation, we collected a separate set of 430 CXR examinations from numerous publicly available datasets from 10 different countries, case presentations, and two hospital repositories. These examinations were assessed for COVID-19 by the DL model and by two independent radiologists. Diagnostic performance was compared between the model and the radiologists and the correlation coefficient calculated.

Results : For detecting COVID-19 on CXR, our DL model demonstrated sensitivity of 91.5%, specificity of 55.3%, PPV 60.9%, NPV 77.9%, accuracy 70.1%, and AUC 0.73 (95% CI: 0.86, 0.95). There was a significant correlation (r = 0.617, P = 0.000) between the results of the DL model and the radiologists' interpretations. The sensitivity of the radiologists is 96% and their overall diagnostic accuracy is 90% in this study.

Conclusions : The DL model demonstrated high sensitivity for detecting COVID-19 on CXR.

Clinical Impact : The doctor trained DL tool Svita_DL8 can be used in resource-constrained settings to quickly triage patients with suspected COVID-19 for further in-depth review and testing.

Krishnamoorthy Sabitha, Ramakrishnan Sudhakar, Colaco Lanson Brijesh, Dias Akshay, Gopi Indu K, Gowda Gautham A G, Aishwarya K C, Ramanan Veena, Chandran Manju


Artificial intelligence, COVID 19, CXR, deep learning