A two-staged classifier to reduce false positives: On device detection of atrial fibrillation using phase-based distribution of poincaré plots and deep learning

Peter Doggart, Alan Kennedy, RR Bond, D Finlay, Stephen W. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry (MCOT) can be used to screen high risk patients for atrial fibrillation (AF). These devices rely primarily on algorithmic detection of AF events, which are then stored and transmitted to a clinician for review. It is critical the positive predictive value (PPV) of MCOT detected AF is high, and this often leads to reduced sensitivity, as device manufacturers try to limit false positives.

Objective
The purpose of this study was to design a two stage classifier using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the PPV of MCOT detected atrial fibrillation episodes whilst maintaining high levels of detection sensitivity.

Methods
A low complexity, RR-interval based, AF classifier was paired with a deep convolutional neural network (DCNN) to create a two-stage classifier. The DCNN was limited in size to allow it to be embedded on MCOT devices. The DCNN was trained on 491,727 ECGs from a proprietary database and contained 128,612 parameters requiring only 158 KB of storage. The performance of the two-stage classifier was then assessed using publicly available datasets.

Results
The sensitivity of AF detected by the low complexity classifier was high across all datasets (>93%) however the PPV was poor (<76%). Subsequent analysis by the DCNN increased episode PPV across all datasets substantially (>11%), with only a minor loss in sensitivity (<5%). This increase in PPV was due to a decrease in the number of false positive detections. Further analysis showed that DCNN processing was only required on around half of analysis windows, offering a significant computational saving against using the DCNN as a one-stage classifier.

Conclusion
DCNNs can be combined with existing MCOT classifiers to increase the PPV of detected AF episodes. This reduces the review burden for physicians and can be achieved with only a modest decrease in sensitivity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Electrocardiology
Early online date4 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 4 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Mobile cardiac outpatient telemetry
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Deep learning

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