Artificial intelligence is able to predict who is most likely to die from the coronavirus. In doing so, it can also help decide who should be at the front of the line for the precious vaccines now being administered across Denmark.
The result is from a newly published study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Computer Science. Since the COVID-19 pandemic’s first wave, researchers have been working to develop computer models that can predict, based on disease history and health data, how badly people will be affected by COVID-19.
Based on patient data from the Capital Region of Denmark and Region Zealand, the results of the study demonstrate that artificial intelligence can, with up to 90 percent certainty, determine whether an uninfected person who is not yet infected will die of COVID-19 or not if they are unfortunate enough to become infected. Once admitted to the hospital with COVID-19, the computer can predict with 80 percent accuracy whether the person will need a respirator.
“We began working on the models to assist hospitals, as during the first wave, they feared that they did not have enough respirators for intensive care patients. Our new findings could also be used to carefully identify who needs a vaccine,” explains Professor Mads Nielsen of the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Computer Science.
Older men with high blood pressure are highest at risk
The researchers fed a computer program with health data from 3,944 Danish COVID-19 patients. This trained the computer to recognize patterns and correlations in both patients’ prior illnesses and in their bouts against COVID-19.
“Our results demonstrate, unsurprisingly, that age and BMI are the most decisive parameters for how severely a person will be affected by COVID-19. But the likelihood of dying or ending