Yangtian Yan


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DeltaNet: Conditional Medical Report Generation for COVID-19 Diagnosis
Xian Wu | Shuxin Yang | Zhaopeng Qiu | Shen Ge | Yangtian Yan | Xingwang Wu | Yefeng Zheng | S. Kevin Zhou | Li Xiao
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Fast screening and diagnosis are critical in COVID-19 patient treatment. In addition to the gold standard RT-PCR, radiological imaging like X-ray and CT also works as an important means in patient screening and follow-up. However, due to the excessive number of patients, writing reports becomes a heavy burden for radiologists. To reduce the workload of radiologists, we propose DeltaNet to generate medical reports automatically. Different from typical image captioning approaches that generate reports with an encoder and a decoder, DeltaNet applies a conditional generation process. In particular, given a medical image, DeltaNet employs three steps to generate a report: 1) first retrieving related medical reports, i.e., the historical reports from the same or similar patients; 2) then comparing retrieved images and current image to find the differences; 3) finally generating a new report to accommodate identified differences based on the conditional report. We evaluate DeltaNet on a COVID-19 dataset, where DeltaNet outperforms state-of-the-art approaches. Besides COVID-19, the proposed DeltaNet can be applied to other diseases as well. We validate its generalization capabilities on the public IU-Xray and MIMIC-CXR datasets for chest-related diseases.