AIforCOVID: Predicting the clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 applying AI to chest-X-rays. An Italian multicentre study

Paolo Soda, Natascha Claudia D'Amico, Jacopo Tessadori, Giovanni Valbusa, Valerio Guarrasi, Chandra Bortolotto, Muhammad Usman Akbar, Rosa Sicilia, Ermanno Cordelli, Deborah Fazzini, Michaela Cellina, Giancarlo Oliva, Giovanni Callea, Silvia Panella, Maurizio Cariati, Diletta Cozzi, Vittorio Miele, Elvira Stellato, Gianpaolo Carrafiello, Giulia CastoraniAnnalisa Simeone, Lorenzo Preda, Giulio Iannello, Alessio Del Bue, Fabio Tedoldi, Marco Alí, Diego Sona, Sergio Papa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent epidemiological data report that worldwide more than 53 million people have been infected by SARS-CoV-2, resulting in 1.3 million deaths. The disease has been spreading very rapidly and few months after the identification of the first infected, shortage of hospital resources quickly became a problem. In this work we investigate whether artificial intelligence working with chest X-ray (CXR) scans and clinical data can be used as a possible tool for the early identification of patients at risk of severe outcome, like intensive care or death. Indeed, further to induce lower radiation dose than computed tomography (CT), CXR is a simpler and faster radiological technique, being also more widespread. In this respect, we present three approaches that use features extracted from CXR images, either handcrafted or automatically learnt by convolutional neuronal networks, which are then integrated with the clinical data. As a further contribution, this work introduces a repository that collects data from 820 patients enrolled in six Italian hospitals in spring 2020 during the first COVID-19 emergency. The dataset includes CXR images, several clinical attributes and clinical outcomes. Exhaustive evaluation shows promising performance both in 10-fold and leave-one-centre-out cross-validation, suggesting that clinical data and images have the potential to provide useful information for the management of patients and hospital resources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102216
JournalMedical Image Analysis
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Artificial intelligence
  • COVID-19
  • Deep learning
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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