Domain-invariant Clinical Representation Learning by Bridging Data Distribution Shift across EMR Datasets

Due to the limited information about emerging diseases, symptoms are hard to be noticed and recognized, so that the window for clinical intervention could be ignored. An effective prognostic model is expected to assist doctors in making right diagnosis and designing personalized treatment plan, so to promptly prevent unfavorable outcomes. However, in the early stage of a disease, limited data collection and clinical experiences, plus the concern out of privacy and ethics, may result in restricted data availability for reference, to the extent that even data labels are difficult to mark correctly. In addition, Electronic Medical Record (EMR) data of different diseases or of different sources of the same disease can prove to be having serious cross-dataset feature misalignment problems, greatly mutilating the efficiency of deep learning models. This article introduces a domain-invariant representation learning method to build a transition model from source dataset to target dataset. By way of constraining the distribution shift of features generated in disparate domains, domain-invariant features that are exclusively relative to downstream tasks are captured, so to cultivate a unified domain-invariant encoder across various task domains to achieve better feature representation. Experimental results of several target tasks demonstrate that our proposed model outperforms competing baseline methods and has higher rate of training convergence, especially in dealing with limited data amount. A multitude of experiences have proven the efficacy of our method to provide more accurate predictions concerning newly emergent pandemics and other diseases.

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