A Deep Learning Approach to Diagnosing Multiple Sclerosis from Smartphone Data

2 Jan 2020  ·  Patrick Schwab, Walter Karlen ·

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the central nervous system with a wide range of symptoms. MS can, for example, cause pain, changes in mood and fatigue, and may impair a person's movement, speech and visual functions... Diagnosis of MS typically involves a combination of complex clinical assessments and tests to rule out other diseases with similar symptoms. New technologies, such as smartphone monitoring in free-living conditions, could potentially aid in objectively assessing the symptoms of MS by quantifying symptom presence and intensity over long periods of time. Here, we present a deep-learning approach to diagnosing MS from smartphone-derived digital biomarkers that uses a novel combination of a multilayer perceptron with neural soft attention to improve learning of patterns in long-term smartphone monitoring data. Using data from a cohort of 774 participants, we demonstrate that our deep-learning models are able to distinguish between people with and without MS with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.88 (95% CI: 0.70, 0.88). Our experimental results indicate that digital biomarkers derived from smartphone data could in the future be used as additional diagnostic criteria for MS. read more

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