Machine learning approaches to personalize early prediction of asthma exacerbations

Joseph Finkelstein, In cheol Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Patient telemonitoring results in an aggregation of significant amounts of information about patient disease trajectory. However, the potential use of this information for early prediction of exacerbations in adult asthma patients has not been systematically evaluated. The aim of this study was to explore the utility of telemonitoring data for building machine learning algorithms that predict asthma exacerbations before they occur. The study dataset comprised daily self-monitoring reports consisting of 7001 records submitted by adult asthma patients during home telemonitoring. Predictive modeling included preparation of stratified training datasets, predictive feature selection, and evaluation of resulting classifiers. Using a 7-day window, a naive Bayesian classifier, adaptive Bayesian network, and support vector machines were able to predict asthma exacerbation occurring on day 8, with sensitivity of 0.80, 1.00, and 0.84; specificity of 0.77, 1.00, and 0.80; and accuracy of 0.77, 1.00, and 0.80, respectively. Our study demonstrated that machine learning techniques have significant potential in developing personalized decision support for chronic disease telemonitoring systems. Future studies may benefit from a comprehensive predictive framework that combines telemonitoring data with other factors affecting the likelihood of developing acute exacerbation. Approaches implemented for advanced asthma exacerbation prediction may be extended to prediction of exacerbations in patients with other chronic health conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-165
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • asthma exacerbation
  • machine learning
  • personalized medicine
  • prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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