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In Healthcare technology letters

Hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD) and tetanus are serious infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries. Tetanus, in particular, has a high mortality rate and its treatment is resource-demanding. Furthermore, HFMD often affects a large number of infants and young children. As a result, its treatment consumes enormous healthcare resources, especially when outbreaks occur. Autonomic nervous system dysfunction (ANSD) is the main cause of death for both HFMD and tetanus patients. However, early detection of ANSD is a difficult and challenging problem. The authors aim to provide a proof-of-principle to detect the ANSD level automatically by applying machine learning techniques to physiological patient data, such as electrocardiogram waveforms, which can be collected using low-cost wearable sensors. Efficient features are extracted that encode variations in the waveforms in the time and frequency domains. The proposed approach is validated on multiple datasets of HFMD and tetanus patients in Vietnam. Results show that encouraging performance is achieved. Moreover, the proposed features are simple, more generalisable and outperformed the standard heart rate variability analysis. The proposed approach would facilitate both the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries, and thereby improve patient care.

Tadesse Girmaw Abebe, Zhu Tingting, Le Nguyen Thanh Nhan, Hung Nguyen Thanh, Duong Ha Thi Hai, Khanh Truong Huu, Quang Pham Van, Tran Duc Duong, Yen Lam Minh, Doorn Rogier Van, Hao Nguyen Van, Prince John, Javed Hamza, Kiyasseh Dani, Tan Le Van, Thwaites Louise, Clifton David A


ANSD level, HFMD, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, cardiology, classifying ANSD levels, difficult problem, diseases, electrocardiogram, electrocardiography, enormous healthcare resources, feature extraction, frequency domains, health care, high mortality rate, infectious disease, learning (artificial intelligence), low-cost wearable sensors, medical computing, medical signal processing, middle-income countries, neurophysiology, patient care, patient diagnosis, patient treatment, photoplethysmogram waveforms, physiological patient data, proof-of-principle, resource-demanding, serious infectious diseases, severity detection tool, standard heart rate variability analysis, support vector machine, support vector machines, tetanus patients, young children