Attentive Dual Embedding for Understanding Medical Concepts in Electronic Health Records

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
2019 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN), 2019
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Electronic health records contain a wealth of information on a patient’s healthcare over many visits, such as diagnoses, treatments, drugs administered, and so on. The untapped potential of these data in healthcare analytics is vast. However, given that much of medical information is a cause and effect science, new embedding methods are required to ensure the learning representations reflect the comprehensive interplays between medical concepts and their relationships over time. Unlike one-hot encoding, a distributed representation should preserve these complex interactions as high-quality inputs for machine learning-based healthcare analytics tasks. Therefore, we propose a novel attentive dual embedding method called MC2Vec. MC2Vec captures the proximity relationships between medical concepts through a two-step optimization framework that recursively refines the embedding for superior output. The framework comprises a Skip-gram model to generate the initial embedding and an attentive CBOW model to fine-tune the embedding with temporal information gleaned from sequences of patient visits. Experiments with two public datasets demonstrate that MC2Vec’s produces embeddings of higher quality than five state-of-the-art methods.
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