Propose: Troubling countries one after another, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the health and well-being of the world's population. The disease may continue to persist more extensively due to the increasing number of new cases daily, the rapid spread of the virus, and delay in the PCR analysis results. Therefore, it is necessary to consider developing assistive methods for detecting and diagnosing the COVID-19 to eradicate the spread of the novel coronavirus among people. Based on convolutional neural networks (CNNs), automated detection systems have shown promising results of diagnosing patients with the COVID-19 through radiography; thus, they are introduced as a workable solution to the COVID-19 diagnosis.
Materials and Methods: Based on the enhancement of the classical visual geometry group (VGG) network with the convolutional COVID block (CCBlock), an efficient screening model was proposed in this study to diagnose and distinguish patients with the COVID-19 from those with pneumonia and the healthy people through radiography. The model testing dataset included 1,828 x-ray images available on public platforms. 310 images were showing confirmed COVID-19 cases, 864 images indicating pneumonia cases, and 654 images showing healthy people.
Results: According to the test results, enhancing the classical VGG network with radiography provided the highest diagnosis performance and overall accuracy of 98.52% for two classes as well as accuracy of 95.34% for three classes.
Conclusions: According to the results, using the enhanced VGG deep neural network can help radiologists automatically diagnose the COVID-19 through radiography.