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How Federated Learning advanced COVID-19 diagnosis

#artificialintelligence

Recently, federated learning was used to massively optimize a machine learning model for COVID-19 diagnosis. In December 2021 a paper titled "Advancing COVID-19 diagnosis with privacy-preserving collaboration in artificial intelligence" was released in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Machine Intelligence. This paper presents a considerable improvement for classifying patients as Covid positive or not, by combining the data of multiple geographic locations around the world for the diagnosis of COVID-19. Key findings established how Federated learning massively improved values of sensitivity, specificity, and Area Under the Curve (AUC) for COVID-19 diagnosis. Mainly one of the best achievements of this publication is how Federated learning allowed institutions from China and the United Kingdom (UK) to cooperate together while keeping their data private and protected.


Advancing COVID-19 Diagnosis with Privacy-Preserving Collaboration in Artificial Intelligence

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Title: Advancing COVID-19 Diagnosis with Privacy-Preserving Collaboration in Artificial Intelligence One sentence summary: An efficient and effective privacy-preserving AI framework is proposed for CT-based COVID-19 diagnosis, based on 9,573 CT scans of 3,336 patients, from 23 hospitals in China and the UK. Abstract Artificial intelligence (AI) provides a promising substitution for streamlining COVID-19 diagnoses. However, concerns surrounding security and trustworthiness impede the collection of large-scale representative medical data, posing a considerable challenge for training a well-generalised model in clinical practices. To address this, we launch the Unified CT-COVID AI Diagnostic Initiative (UCADI), where the AI model can be distributedly trained and independently executed at each host institution under a federated learning framework (FL) without data sharing. Here we show that our FL model outperformed all the local models by a large yield (test sensitivity /specificity in China: 0.973/0.951, in the UK: 0.730/0.942), We further evaluated the model on the hold-out (collected from another two hospitals leaving out the FL) and heterogeneous (acquired with contrast materials) data, provided visual explanations for decisions made by the model, and analysed the trade-offs between the model performance and the communication costs in the federated training process. Our study is based on 9,573 chest computed tomography scans (CTs) from 3,336 patients collected from 23 hospitals located in China and the UK. Collectively, our work advanced the prospects of utilising federated learning for privacy-preserving AI in digital health. MAIN TEXT Introduction As the gold standard for identifying COVID-19 carriers, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is the primary diagnostic modality to detect viral nucleotide in specimens from cases with suspected infection. It has been reported that coronavirus carriers present certain radiological features in chest CTs, including ground-glass opacity, interlobular septal thickening, and consolidation, which can be exploited to identify COVID-19 cases.