Diagnosis/Prognosis of COVID-19 Images: Challenges, Opportunities, and Applications

The novel Coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has rapidly and abruptly changed the world as we knew in 2020. It becomes the most unprecedent challenge to analytic epidemiology in general and signal processing theories in specific. Given its high contingency nature and adverse effects across the world, it is important to develop efficient processing/learning models to overcome this pandemic and be prepared for potential future ones. In this regard, medical imaging plays an important role for the management of COVID-19. Human-centered interpretation of medical images is, however, tedious and can be subjective. This has resulted in a surge of interest to develop Radiomics models for analysis and interpretation of medical images. Signal Processing (SP) and Deep Learning (DL) models can assist in development of robust Radiomics solutions for diagnosis/prognosis, severity assessment, treatment response, and monitoring of COVID-19 patients. In this article, we aim to present an overview of the current state, challenges, and opportunities of developing SP/DL-empowered models for diagnosis (screening/monitoring) and prognosis (outcome prediction and severity assessment) of COVID-19 infection. More specifically, the article starts by elaborating the latest development on the theoretical framework of analytic epidemiology and hypersignal processing for COVID-19. Afterwards, imaging modalities and Radiological characteristics of COVID-19 are discussed. SL/DL-based Radiomic models specific to the analysis of COVID-19 infection are then described covering the following four domains: Segmentation of COVID-19 lesions; Predictive models for outcome prediction; Severity assessment, and; Diagnosis/classification models. Finally, open problems and opportunities are presented in detail.

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