VA pilots AI tool to predict COVID-19 mortality rates

The Department of Veterans Affairs is testing a new artificial intelligence-powered tool that can predict a COVID-19 patient’s prognosis and recommend next steps for treatment, according to an Oct. 23 NextGov report.

VA officials have been developing the tool since early spring with clinicians at the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center. The team used data from more than 11,000 VA patients to assess how more than 30 factors, including heart rate, blood pressure and preexisting health issues, affected recovery and mortality rates.

The tool is designed with AI that can explain how it arrived at its conclusions, which helps users and clinicians trust the accuracy of the results and identify trends occurring in patients.

The technology is still in the pilot phase and has not yet been used to treat a patient directly, the VA said, according to the report. The department is going to start working with other medical sites to see how it can be applied across the U.S. in additional settings.

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