Clinical applications of artificial intelligence in sepsis: A narrative review

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Many studies have been published on a variety of clinical applications of artificial intelligence (AI) for sepsis, while there is no overview of the literature. The aim of this review is to give an overview of the literature and thereby identify knowledge gaps and prioritize areas with high priority for further research. A literature search was conducted in PubMed from inception to February 2019. Search terms related to AI were combined with terms regarding sepsis. Articles were included when they reported an area under the receiver operator characteristics curve (AUROC) as outcome measure. Fifteen articles on diagnosis of sepsis with AI models were included. The best performing model reached an AUROC of 0.97. There were also seven articles on prognosis, predicting mortality over time with an AUROC of up to 0.895. Finally, there were three articles on assistance of treatment of sepsis, where the use of AI was associated with the lowest mortality rates. Of the articles, twenty-two were judged to be at high risk of bias or had major concerns regarding applicability. This was mostly because predictor variables in these models, such as blood pressure, were also part of the definition of sepsis, which led to overestimation of the performance. We conclude that AI models have great potential for improving early identification of patients who may benefit from administration of antibiotics. Current AI prediction models to diagnose sepsis are at major risks of bias when the diagnosis criteria are part of the predictor variables in the model. Furthermore, generalizability of these models is poor due to overfitting and a lack of standardized protocols for the construction and validation of the models. Until these problems have been resolved, a large gap remains between the creation of an AI algorithm and its implementation in clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103488
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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