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VA Piloting AI to Predict Mortality Rates of COVID-19 Patients

The Veterans Affairs Department is working on a new AI tool that could predict a COVID-19 patient’s prognosis and recommend the next steps based on risk factors such as pre-existing conditions, age, location, and other medical data. The healthcare industry has been overwhelmed by pandemic patients, causing hospital beds to fill up at unprecedented rates. The new VA technology could mean better predictions as to what the right course of action is for patients arriving at overflowing hospitals.

The VA aims to create an algorithm that will allow patients to view a prognosis that determines their risk of hospitalization or death rather than just administering positive COVId-19 viral tests. The AI model will be developed using both clinical and nonclinical information, according to the agency. The tool’s progression began in early spring, utilizing data from 11,000 patients across the VA to analyze characteristics such as heart rate, blood pressure, and pre-existing issues affect recovery and mortality.

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