Using machine learning for predicting intensive care unit resource use during the COVID-19 pandemic in Denmark

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The COVID-19 pandemic has put massive strains on hospitals, and tools to guide hospital planners in resource allocation during the ebbs and flows of the pandemic are urgently needed. We investigate whether machine learning (ML) can be used for predictions of intensive care requirements a fixed number of days into the future. Retrospective design where health Records from 42,526 SARS-CoV-2 positive patients in Denmark was extracted. Random Forest (RF) models were trained to predict risk of ICU admission and use of mechanical ventilation after n days (n = 1, 2, …, 15). An extended analysis was provided for n = 5 and n = 10. Models predicted n-day risk of ICU admission with an area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (ROC-AUC) between 0.981 and 0.995, and n-day risk of use of ventilation with an ROC-AUC between 0.982 and 0.997. The corresponding n-day forecasting models predicted the needed ICU capacity with a coefficient of determination (R2) between 0.334 and 0.989 and use of ventilation with an R2 between 0.446 and 0.973. The forecasting models performed worst, when forecasting many days into the future (for large n). For n = 5, ICU capacity was predicted with ROC-AUC 0.990 and R2 0.928, and use of ventilator was predicted with ROC-AUC 0.994 and R2 0.854. Random Forest-based modelling can be used for accurate n-day forecasting predictions of ICU resource requirements, when n is not too large.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18959
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sep 2021

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© 2021. The Author(s).

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