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Treatment effect prediction (TEP) plays an important role in disease management by ensuring that the expected clinical outcomes are obtained after performing specialized and sophisticated treatments on patients given their personalized clinical status. In recent years, the wide adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) has provided a comprehensive data source for intelligent clinical applications including the TEP investigated in this study. We examined the problem of using a large volume of heterogeneous EHR data to predict treatment effects and developed an adversarial deep treatment effect prediction model to address the problem. Our model employed two auto-encoders for learning the representative and discriminative features of both patient characteristics and treatments from EHR data. The discriminative power of the learned features was further enhanced by decoding the correlational information between the patient characteristics and subsequent treatments by means of a generated adversarial learning strategy. Thereafter, a logistic regression layer was appended on the top of the resulting feature representation layer for TEP. The proposed model was evaluated on two real clinical datasets collected from the cardiology department of a Chinese hospital. In particular, on acute coronary syndrome (ACS) dataset, the proposed adversarial deep treatment effect prediction (ADTEP) (0.662) exhibited 1.4, 2.2, and 6.3% performance gains in terms of the area under the ROC curve (AUC) over deep treatment effect prediction (DTEP) (0.653), logistic regression (LR) (0.648), and support vector machine (SVM) (0.621), respectively. As for heart failure (HF) case study, the proposed ADTEP also outperformed all benchmarks. The experimental results demonstrated that our proposed model achieved competitive performance compared to state-of-the-art models in tackling the TEP problem. In this work, we propose a novel model to address the TEP problem by utilizing a large volume of observational data from EHR. With adversarial learning strategy, our proposed model can further explore the correlational information between patient statuses and treatments to extract more robust and discriminative representation of patient samples from their EHR data. Such representation finally benefits the model on TEP. The experimental results of two case studies demonstrate the superiority of our proposed method compared to state-of-the-art methods.


Jiebin Chu, Wei Dong, Jinliang Wang, Kunlun He, Zhengxing Huang. Treatment effect prediction with adversarial deep learning using electronic health records. BMC medical informatics and decision making. 2020 Dec 14;20(Suppl 4):139

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PMID: 33317502

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