A Novel Lightweight Approach to COVID-19 Diagnostics Based on Chest X-ray Images

J Clin Med. 2022 Sep 20;11(19):5501. doi: 10.3390/jcm11195501.


Background: This paper presents a novel lightweight approach based on machine learning methods supporting COVID-19 diagnostics based on X-ray images. The presented schema offers effective and quick diagnosis of COVID-19.

Methods: Real data (X-ray images) from hospital patients were used in this study. All labels, namely those that were COVID-19 positive and negative, were confirmed by a PCR test. Feature extraction was performed using a convolutional neural network, and the subsequent classification of samples used Random Forest, XGBoost, LightGBM and CatBoost.

Results: The LightGBM model was the most effective in classifying patients on the basis of features extracted from X-ray images, with an accuracy of 1.00, a precision of 1.00, a recall of 1.00 and an F1-score of 1.00.

Conclusion: The proposed schema can potentially be used as a support for radiologists to improve the diagnostic process. The presented approach is efficient and fast. Moreover, it is not excessively complex computationally.

Keywords: COVID-19; X-ray images; features extraction; image processing; machine learning.