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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2014 Sep 15;190(6):606-10. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201404-0716CP.

Gleaning knowledge from data in the intensive care unit.

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1 Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and.


It is often difficult to accurately predict when, why, and which patients develop shock, because signs of shock often occur late, once organ injury is already present. Three levels of aggregation of information can be used to aid the bedside clinician in this task: analysis of derived parameters of existing measured physiologic variables using simple bedside calculations (functional hemodynamic monitoring); prior physiologic data of similar subjects during periods of stability and disease to define quantitative metrics of level of severity; and libraries of responses across large and comprehensive collections of records of diverse subjects whose diagnosis, therapies, and course is already known to predict not only disease severity, but also the subsequent behavior of the subject if left untreated or treated with one of the many therapeutic options. The problem is in defining the minimal monitoring data set needed to initially identify those patients across all possible processes, and then specifically monitor their responses to targeted therapies known to improve outcome. To address these issues, multivariable models using machine learning data-driven classification techniques can be used to parsimoniously predict cardiorespiratory insufficiency. We briefly describe how these machine learning approaches are presently applied to address earlier identification of cardiorespiratory insufficiency and direct focused, patient-specific management.


big data; complexity modeling; functional hemodynamic monitoring; machine learning

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