L. Clifton, D. A. Clifton, M. A. F. Pimentel, P. J. Watkinson, and L. Tarassenko
The majority of patients in the hospital are ambulatory, and would benefit significantly from predictive and personalised monitoring systems. Such patients are well-suited to having their physiological condition monitored using low-power, minimally-intrusive wearable sensors. Despite data-collection systems now being manufactured commercially, allowing physiological data to be acquired from mobile patients, little work has been undertaken on the use of the resultant data in a principled manner for robust patient care, including predictive monitoring. Most current devices generate so many false-positive alerts that devices cannot be used for routine clinical practice. This paper explores principled machine learning approaches to interpreting large quantities of continuously-acquired, multivariate physiological data, using wearable patient monitors, where the goal is to provide early warning of serious physiological determination, such that a degree of predictive care may be provided.
There are few clinical evaluations of machine learning techniques in the literature, and so, to contribute to the evidence base for next-generation healthcare methods, we present results from a study at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust devised to investigate the large-scale clinical use of patient-worn sensors for predictive monitoring in a ward with a high incidence of patient mortality. We show that our system can combine routine manual observations made by clinical staff with the continuous data acquired from wearable sensors. Practical considerations and recommendations based on our experiences of this clinical study are discussed, in the context of a framework for personalized monitoring.