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AbstractCOVID-19 is a major, urgent, and ongoing threat to global health. Globally more than 24 million have been infected and the disease has claimed more than a million lives as of October 2020. Predicting which patients will need respiratory support is important to guiding individual patient treatment and also to ensuring sufficient resources are available. We evaluated the ability of six common Early Warning Scores (EWS) to identify respiratory deterioration defined as the need for advanced respiratory support (high-flow nasal oxygen, continuous positive airways pressure, non-invasive ventilation, intubation) within a prediction window of 24 hours. We show these scores perform sub-optimally at this specific task. Therefore, we develop an alternative Early Warning Score based on a Gradient Boosting Trees (GBT) algorithm that is able to predict deterioration within the next 24 hours with high AUROC 94% and an accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of 70%, 96%, 70%, respectively. Our GBT model outperformed the best EWS (LDTEWS:NEWS), increasing the AUROC by 14%. Our GBT model makes the prediction based on the current and baseline measures of routinely available vital signs and blood tests.

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