Background: The recent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has placed severe stress on healthcare systems worldwide, which is amplified by the critical shortage of COVID-19 tests.
Methods: In this study, we propose to generate a more accurate diagnosis model of COVID-19 based on patient symptoms and routine test results by applying machine learning to reanalyzing COVID-19 data from 151 published studies. We aim to investigate correlations between clinical variables, cluster COVID-19 patients into subtypes, and generate a computational classification model for discriminating between COVID-19 patients and influenza patients based on clinical variables alone.
Results: We discovered several novel associations between clinical variables, including correlations between being male and having higher levels of serum lymphocytes and neutrophils. We found that COVID-19 patients could be clustered into subtypes based on serum levels of immune cells, gender, and reported symptoms. Finally, we trained an XGBoost model to achieve a sensitivity of 92.5% and a specificity of 97.9% in discriminating COVID-19 patients from influenza patients.
Conclusions: We demonstrated that computational methods trained on large clinical datasets could yield ever more accurate COVID-19 diagnostic models to mitigate the impact of lack of testing. We also presented previously unknown COVID-19 clinical variable correlations and clinical subgroups.
Keywords: COVID-19; Diagnostic model; Machine learning.