van der Schaar Lab

Study of admission timing and mortality following COVID-19 infection published in BMJ Open

A paper on COVID-19 authored by Mihaela van der Schaar, Ahmed Alaa, and Zhaozhi Qian, alongside a number of the van der Schaar Lab’s clinical collaborators, has been accepted for publication in BMJ Open (editor-in-chief: Adrian Aldcroft).

The paper, entitled “Retrospective cohort study of admission timing and mortality following COVID-19 infection in England,” was published online on November 23, and was co-authored by Dr. Jem Rashbass and Prof. Jonathan Benger, both from NHS Digital.

In their study, the authors investigate whether the timing of hospital admission is associated with the risk of mortality for patients with COVID-19 in England, and the factors associated with a longer interval between symptom onset and hospital admission. Key findings include the discovery that timing of hospital admission is an independent predictor of mortality following adjustment for age, sex, comorbidities, ethnicity and obesity. Additionally, healthcare workers were found to be most likely to have an increased interval between symptom onset and hospital admission, as were people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, and patients with obesity.

Retrospective cohort study of admission timing and mortality following COVID-19 infection in England

Ahmed Alaa, Zhaozhi Qian, Jem Rashbass, Jonathan Benger, Mihaela van der Schaar


For a full list of the van der Schaar Lab’s publications, click here.

To find out more about the van der Schaar Lab’s work related to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our dedicated page here.

Ahmed Alaa

Ahmed M. Alaa is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the ECE Department, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and an affiliated Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge.

His primary research focus has been on causal inference, automated machine learning, uncertainty quantification and time-series analysis.

He has published papers in several leading machine learning conferences including NeurIPS, ICML, ICLR and AISTATS.

Zhaozhi Qian

After obtaining a MSc in Machine Learning at UCL, Zhaozhi Qian started his career as a data scientist in the largest mobile gaming company in Europe. Three years later, he found it might be more fulfilling to apply AI to cure cancer than to make the gamers hit the purchase button 1% more often.

He thus joined the group in 2019 as a PhD student focusing on robust and interpretable learning for longitudinal data. So far, his work has included inferring latent disease interaction networks from Electronic Health Records, uncovering the causal structure between events that unfold over time, and calibrating the predictive uncertainty under domain shift.

Zhaozhi also worked as a contractor in the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic contributing his analytical skills to the national response to the pandemic.

Mihaela van der Schaar

Mihaela van der Schaar is the John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Medicine at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute in London.

Mihaela has received numerous awards, including the Oon Prize on Preventative Medicine from the University of Cambridge (2018), a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2004), 3 IBM Faculty Awards, the IBM Exploratory Stream Analytics Innovation Award, the Philips Make a Difference Award and several best paper awards, including the IEEE Darlington Award.

In 2019, she was identified by National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts as the most-cited female AI researcher in the UK. She was also elected as a 2019 “Star in Computer Networking and Communications” by N²Women. Her research expertise span signal and image processing, communication networks, network science, multimedia, game theory, distributed systems, machine learning and AI.

Mihaela’s research focus is on machine learning, AI and operations research for healthcare and medicine.

Nick Maxfield

From 2020 to 2022, Nick oversaw the van der Schaar Lab’s communications, including media relations, content creation, and maintenance of the lab’s online presence.