Purpose In December 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic began in the world. To reduce mortality, in addiction to mass vaccination, it is necessary to massify and accelerate clinical diagnosis, as well as creating new ways of monitoring patients that can help in the construction of specific treatments for the disease. Objective In this work, we propose rapid protocols for clinical diagnosis of Covid-19 through the automatic analysis of hematological parameters using Evolutionary Computing and Machine Learning. These hematological parameters are obtained from blood tests common in clinical practice.
Method We investigated the best classifier architectures. Then, we applied the particle swarm optimization algorithm (PSO) to select the most relevant attributes: serum glucose, troponin, partial thromboplastin time, ferritin, D-dimer, lactic dehydrogenase, and indirect bilirubin. Finally, we used decision trees to build four rapid protocols for Covid-19 clinical diagnosis.
Results We developed a web system for Covid-19 diagnosis support. Using a 100-tree Random Forest, we obtained results for accuracy, sensitivity and specificity superior to 99%. After feature selection, results were similar. The four empirical clinical protocols returned accuracies, sensitivities and specificities superior to 98%.
Conclusion By using a reduced set of hematological parameters common in clinical practice, it was possible to achieve results of accuracy, sensitivity and specificity comparable to those obtained with RT-PCR. It was also possible to automatically generate clinical decision protocols, allowing relatively accurate clinical diagnosis even without the aid of the web decision support system.