Science Daily reported there is a new mobile app that can help clinicians find out who among the COVID-19 patients are more likely to acquire the disease in severity. Researchers at NYU's College of Dentistry created the app. 

Thus far, COVID-19 cases in the world are now at the six millionth mark, almost reaching seven million. There are around 380,000 recorded deaths globally. 

In the United States, 1.89 million people are diagnosed with the coronavirus, with 109,000 deaths and 432,000 recoveries.

The technology utilizes artificial intelligence or AI to determine risk factors, as well as key biomarkers from parameters, specifically blood tests. These, in turn, provide clinicians with the COVID-19 "severity score."

In perspective 

The current diagnostic exams for the virus detect viral RNA in order to find out whether the patient has the virus. However, it does not yet provide the details about the level of severity, and the chances of getting severe in the next days or weeks.

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The researchers stated that they explored the new app to receive information on the necessity for infrastructure, so they can save more lives. However, even this provides a challenge up to this very day.

The researchers identified four key biomarkers in blood test measurements with the data from about 160 admitted patients in Wuhan, China. These tests are elevated in deceased patients more than those among recovered ones. The biomarkers are:

  • cardiac troponin I (cTnI);
  • myoglobin (MYO);
  • C-reactive protein (CRP), and;
  • procalcitonin (PCT)

According to the report, these may signal complications related to the virus, which may constitute poor cardiovascular health, low respiratory tract infection and acute inflammation.

With the data, they constructed a model with information such as the age and sex of patients. Using a machine-learning algorithm, they trained this model to be able to predict the severity of the illness. If the biomarkers and the risk factors get into the threshold, it provides them with a numerical equivalent -- zero which means, mild to moderate, to 100, which means critical.

Further discussion

This was validated from the data coming from 12 hospitalized patients from Shenzhen in China, which confirmed the effectiveness of these severity scores. These scores were higher for the deceased patients than those who were discharged from the hospital wards. The details can be found at one of the journals of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

New York City is seen as one of the prime cities in the world to benefit from this app. The city is the "epicenter of COVID-19." Of course, they tested around a thousand patients in the city to make sure that the app may be used for its purpose. 

What is the credibility of the app? It has been studied in the Family Health Centers at NYU Langone, located in Brooklyn, and was tested on more than 102,000 patients.

Its chief medical officer Isaac P. Dapkins, MD said in the Science Daily report, "Real time clinical decision support tools for COVID-19 can be extremely helpful, particularly in the outpatient setting, to help guide monitoring and treatment plans for those at greatest risk."

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