Finding COVID-19 from Chest X-rays using Deep Learning on a Small Dataset
Testing for COVID-19 has been unable to keep up with the demand. Further, the false negative rate is projected to be as high as 30% and test results can take some time to obtain. X-ray machines are widely available and provide images for diagnosis quickly. This paper explores how useful chest X-ray images can be in diagnosing COVID-19 disease. We have obtained 135 chest X-rays of COVID-19 and 320 chest X-rays of viral and bacterial pneumonia.
A pre-trained deep convolutional neural network, Resnet50 was tuned on 102 COVID-19 cases and 102 other pneumonia cases in a 10-fold cross validation. The results were
an overall accuracy of 89.2% with a COVID-19 true positive rate of 0.8039 and an AUC of 0.95. Pre-trained Resnet50 and VGG16 plus our own small CNN were tuned or trained on a balanced set of COVID-19 and pneumonia chest X-rays. An ensemble of the three types of CNN classifiers was applied to a test set of 33 unseen COVID-19 and 218 pneumonia cases. The overall accuracy was 91.24% with the true positive rate for COVID-19 of 0.7879 with 6.88% false positives for a true negative rate of 0.9312 and AUC of 0.94.
This preliminary study has flaws, most critically a lack of information about where in the disease process the COVID-19 cases were and the small data set size. More COVID-19 case images at good resolution will enable a better answer to the question of how useful chest X-rays can be for diagnosing COVID-19.