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Sensors (Basel) ; 21(24)2021 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580509


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected hundreds of millions of individuals and caused millions of deaths worldwide. Predicting the clinical course of the disease is of pivotal importance to manage patients. Several studies have found hematochemical alterations in COVID-19 patients, such as inflammatory markers. We retrospectively analyzed the anamnestic data and laboratory parameters of 303 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who were admitted to the Polyclinic Hospital of Bari during the first phase of the COVID-19 global pandemic. After the pre-processing phase, we performed a survival analysis with Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox Regression, with the aim to discover the most unfavorable predictors. The target outcomes were mortality or admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). Different machine learning models were also compared to realize a robust classifier relying on a low number of strongly significant factors to estimate the risk of death or admission to ICU. From the survival analysis, it emerged that the most significant laboratory parameters for both outcomes was C-reactive protein min; HR=17.963 (95% CI 6.548-49.277, p < 0.001) for death, HR=1.789 (95% CI 1.000-3.200, p = 0.050) for admission to ICU. The second most important parameter was Erythrocytes max; HR=1.765 (95% CI 1.141-2.729, p < 0.05) for death, HR=1.481 (95% CI 0.895-2.452, p = 0.127) for admission to ICU. The best model for predicting the risk of death was the decision tree, which resulted in ROC-AUC of 89.66%, whereas the best model for predicting the admission to ICU was support vector machine, which had ROC-AUC of 95.07%. The hematochemical predictors identified in this study can be utilized as a strong prognostic signature to characterize the severity of the disease in COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Machine Learning , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Survival Analysis
Sensors (Basel) ; 22(1)2021 Dec 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580505


This study proposes the instrumental analysis of the physiological and biomechanical adaptation of football players to a fatigue protocol during the month immediately after the COVID-19 lockdown, to get insights into fitness recovery. Eight male semi-professional football players took part in the study and filled a questionnaire about their activity during the lockdown. At the resumption of activities, the mean heart rate and covered distances during fatiguing exercises, the normalized variations of mean and maximum exerted power in the Wingate test and the Bosco test outcomes (i.e., maximum height, mean exerted power, relative strength index, leg stiffness, contact time, and flight time) were measured for one month. Questionnaires confirmed a light-intensity self-administered physical activity. A significant effect of fatigue (Wilcoxon signed-rank test p < 0.05) on measured variables was confirmed for the four weeks. The analysis of the normalized variations of the aforementioned parameters allowed the distinguishing of two behaviors: downfall in the first two weeks, and recovery in the last two weeks. Instrumental results suggest a physiological and ballistic (i.e., Bosco test outcomes) recovery after four weeks. As concerns the explosive skills, the observational data are insufficient to show complete recovery.

Athletic Performance , COVID-19 , Football , Soccer , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2
Sensors (Basel) ; 21(16)2021 Aug 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376956


Neuromotor rehabilitation and recovery of upper limb functions are essential to improve the life quality of patients who have suffered injuries or have pathological sequels, where it is desirable to enhance the development of activities of daily living (ADLs). Modern approaches such as robotic-assisted rehabilitation provide decisive factors for effective motor recovery, such as objective assessment of the progress of the patient and the potential for the implementation of personalized training plans. This paper focuses on the design, development, and preliminary testing of a wearable robotic exoskeleton prototype with autonomous Artificial Intelligence-based control, processing, and safety algorithms that are fully embedded in the device. The proposed exoskeleton is a 1-DoF system that allows flexion-extension at the elbow joint, where the chosen materials render it compact. Different operation modes are supported by a hierarchical control strategy, allowing operation in autonomous mode, remote control mode, or in a leader-follower mode. Laboratory tests validate the proper operation of the integrated technologies, highlighting a low latency and reasonable accuracy. The experimental result shows that the device can be suitable for use in providing support for diagnostic and rehabilitation processes of neuromotor functions, although optimizations and rigorous clinical validation are required beforehand.

Exoskeleton Device , Stroke Rehabilitation , Wearable Electronic Devices , Activities of Daily Living , Artificial Intelligence , Humans , Upper Extremity