Artificial intelligence can help. AI systems that have been trained via machine learning to offer “clinical decision support” may play an important role in the COVID-19 crisis, helping to keep hospitals functional and patients alive. 

Bayesian Health, a stealth-mode startup that spun out of Johns Hopkins University, previously developed a targeted prediction tool for sepsis, a life-threatening infection. Recently the team has been working on an early warning system for acute respiratory distress syndrome, a type of respiratory failure that can be caused by many diseases, including sepsis, pneumonia—and COVID. 

“The tool is already monitoring patients across five community and academic hospitals,” says Suchi Saria, founder and CEO of Bayesian Health and director of the machine learning and healthcare lab at Johns Hopkins. “We’ll be making this tool available for hospitals nationally to use.” 

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