AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

A New Way Of Detecting the COVID-19 Virus

In a study conceived by Mayo Clinic investigators it was found that Artificial Intelligence may offer a new way of detecting if a person has contracted Covid-19. Researchers found that the Covid-19 virus creates small electrical changes in the heart that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can detect and be used for a new form of a rapid, reliable test. Since Covid-19 has a 10-14 day incubation period, symptoms take long periods of time to show up. Once patients do show symptoms it is hard to access a reliable Covid test with fast results. An Artificial Intelligence enhanced EKG is a rapid and cost effective alternative for Covid testing.

Covid - 19 virus

This study was done on a racially diverse population of volunteers from 14 different countries. Patients selected had previous EKG data from when they were diagnosed with Covid-19. This data was compared with the EKG data of patients not infected by Covid-19. AI was then trained to detect the subtle changes in the heart by more than 26,000 EKG’s and tested on 7,800 EKG’s that were not previously used. The prevalence of Covid-19 was about 33% and the accuracy of the negative predictive value of the AI was about 99.2%.

For any form of Covid test, accuracy is the most important value. The study shows the consistency of biological signals in the EKG and the Covid-19 infection. To confirm that Artificial Intelligence will be a helpful factor in our fight against the pandemic, this study needs to be tested on asymptomatic people.

In AP biology class this year, my class has learned about sending signals between cells. A heartbeat happens when the SA node (pacemaker of the heart) sends out an electrical impulse.The upper chambers of the heart contract and the AV node sends an impulse into the ventricles.The lower heart chambers then contract and the cycle starts over again.

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1 Comment

  1. lipidliv

    Thank you for sharing this insight on a new way to detect the virus. It was great! I have done some additional research on the use of AI in the medical field. AI can be very helpful in the medical field. AI can help with diagnoses, connecting patients and doctors, and remote surgery. states the many ways AI is used in healthcare in modern times. Now addressing the topic of using AI to detect covid-19. I also did some research on this and found that the lack of research done with the EKGs shows that the research needs to be heavily developed before it can be tested on people who are asymptomatic. The people who are not presenting symptoms would not believe they should go to the doctor. This being said it has nothing to do with the EKG’s but it shows a flaw in the thinking of this study. Overall, I think this was a great article!

    Link to other Covid studies with AI:

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