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An interpretable outcome prediction model based on electronic health records and hierarchical attention
International Journal of Intelligent Systems  (IF8.709),  Pub Date : 2021-10-11, DOI: 10.1002/int.22697
Juan Du, Dajian Zeng, Zhao Li, Jingxuan Liu, Mingqi Lv, Ling Chen, Dan Zhang, Shouling Ji

Outcome prediction aims to predict the future health condition of patients from Electronic Health Record (EHR) data. Because of the sequential characteristic of EHR data, recurrent neural network (RNN)-based outcome prediction methods have achieved state-of-the-art results. However, the major drawback of RNN-based outcome prediction methods is lack of interpretability, which would lead to trust issues. Aiming at this problem, this paper proposes interpretable outcome prediction model with hierarchical attention (IoHAN), an interpretable outcome prediction model by leveraging attention mechanism. The main novelty of IoHAN is that it can pinpoint the fine-grained influence on the final prediction result of each medical component by decomposing the attention weights hierarchically into hospital visits, medical variables, and interactions between medical variables. We evaluated IoHAN on MIMIC-III, a large real-world EHR data set. The experiment results demonstrate that IoHAN can achieve higher prediction accuracy than state-of-the-art outcome prediction models. In addition, the hierarchical decomposed attention weights can interpret the prediction results in a more natural and understandable way.