Learning Models for Monitoring and Prognosis from Electronic Health Data

Prof. Suchi Saria - John Hopkins University

May 15, 2015, 2:30 p.m. - May 15, 2015, 3:30 p.m.

McConnell 103

Healthcare spending is nearing $3 trillion per year, but in spite of this expenditure, the US is outpaced by most developed countries with regard to outcomes. Until recently, one of the key bottlenecks for research in care delivery was the lack of data to analyze the health system’s workings. But today, post the HITECH in 2009, much of an individual’s health data is stored electronically. This opens up a wealth of opportunities for computational scientists.

In this talk, I will develop and solve two problems. The first pertains to learning severity scores in the acute setting for scalable automated monitoring. For example, can we detect individuals declining due to impending adverse events early? The most commonly used approaches train a predictive model using supervised learning on retrospective data. But, this approach produces incorrect results due to interventional confounds (Paxton et al., 2013). We propose a novel framework for measuring the severity of an individual's latent health state. The learned score outperforms several state of the art clinical scores and shows desirable clinical properties.

The second challenge pertains to developing cost-sensitive predictive models. In healthcare, measurement costs share complex structure that existing cost-sensitive approaches do not tackle. We develop a new framework for defining structured regularizers that are suitable for problems with complex cost structures. Our approach is based on representing the problem costs as a multi-layer boolean circuit from which we can define our regularizer in a natural way in the spirit of group penalty functions. We show that, by incorporating ones knowledge of the underlying coststructure into the design of the regularizer, one may obtain models that are in harmony with the underlying cost structure, and as a consequence, achieve higher predictive accuracy for a given level of cost. 

Time permitting, I will give an overview of other recent work on a broader approach to individualizing health using electronic health data and it's application to chronic diseases.


Suchi Saria is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University with appointments in Computer Science, Applied Math & Statistics and Health Policy. She received her PhD at Stanford with Professor Daphne Koller. Her research interests are in machine learning and statistical inference techniques geared towards leveraging electronic health data. Her work on risk prediction in infants was published as a cover article in Science Translational Medicine (Science/AAAS Press), and has been licensed by Nihon Kohden, one of the largest monitoring company in Japan. Her work has been recognized by awards including, a Best Student Paper by the Association for Uncertainty in AI, a Best Student paper finalist by the American Medical Informatics Association, a Google Research award, the Rambus Fellowship, the Microsoft scholarship and the National Science Foundation Computing Innovation Fellowship.


Note: This is not part of COMP601.