Collaborating Authors


Analyzing Patient Trajectories With Artificial Intelligence


For example, electronic health records store the history of a patient's diagnoses, medications, laboratory values, and treatment plans [1-3]. Wearables collect granular sensor measurements of various neurophysiological body functions over time [4-6]. Intensive care units (ICUs) monitor disease progression via continuous physiological measurements (eg, electrocardiograms) [7-10]. As a result, patient data in digital medicine are regularly of longitudinal form (ie, consisting of health events from multiple time points) and thus form patient trajectories. Analyzing patient trajectories provides opportunities for more effective care in digital medicine [2,7,11]. Patient trajectories encode rich information on the history of health states that are also predictive of the future course of a disease (eg, individualized differences in disease progression or responsiveness to medications) [9,10,12]. As such, it is possible to construct patient trajectories that capture the entire disease course and characterize the many possible disease progression patterns, such as recurrent, stable, or rapidly deteriorating disease states (Figure 1). Hence, modeling the patient trajectories allows one to build robust models of diseases that capture disease dynamics seen in patient trajectories. Here, we replace disease models with data from only a single or a small number of time points by disease models that account for the longitudinal nature of patient trajectories, thus offering vast potential for digital medicine. Several studies have previously introduced artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine for practitioners [13,14].