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INTRODUCTION: Spirometry is the gold standard for COPD diagnosis and severity determination, but is technique-dependent, nonspecific, and requires administration by a trained healthcare professional. There is a need for a fast, reliable, and precise alternative diagnostic test. This study's aim was to use interpretable machine learning to diagnose COPD and assess severity using 75-second carbon dioxide (CO2) breath records captured with TidalSense's N-TidalTM capnometer. METHOD: For COPD diagnosis, machine learning algorithms were trained and evaluated on 294 COPD (including GOLD stages 1-4) and 705 non-COPD participants. A logistic regression model was also trained to distinguish GOLD 1 from GOLD 4 COPD with the output probability used as an index of severity. RESULTS: The best diagnostic model achieved an AUROC of 0.890, sensitivity of 0.771, specificity of 0.850 and positive predictive value (PPV) of 0.834. Evaluating performance on all test capnograms that were confidently ruled in or out yielded PPV of 0.930 and NPV of 0.890. The severity determination model yielded an AUROC of 0.980, sensitivity of 0.958, specificity of 0.961 and PPV of 0.958 in distinguishing GOLD 1 from GOLD 4. Output probabilities from the severity determination model produced a correlation of 0.71 with percentage predicted FEV1. CONCLUSION: The N-TidalTM device could be used alongside interpretable machine learning as an accurate, point-of-care diagnostic test for COPD, particularly in primary care as a rapid rule-in or rule-out test. N-TidalTM also could be effective in monitoring disease progression, providing a possible alternative to spirometry for disease monitoring.

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Pulmonary Disease, capnometry, chronic obstructive, diagnosis, machine learning, severity assessment, Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive, Humans, Machine Learning, Middle Aged, Male, Severity of Illness Index, Female, Capnography, Aged, Logistic Models, Sensitivity and Specificity, Forced Expiratory Volume, Algorithms, Predictive Value of Tests, Area Under Curve, Case-Control Studies, Spirometry