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In NPJ digital medicine

Wearable devices enable theoretically continuous, longitudinal monitoring of physiological measurements such as step count, energy expenditure, and heart rate. Although the classification of abnormal cardiac rhythms such as atrial fibrillation from wearable devices has great potential, commercial algorithms remain proprietary and tend to focus on heart rate variability derived from green spectrum LED sensors placed on the wrist, where noise remains an unsolved problem. Here we develop DeepBeat, a multitask deep learning method to jointly assess signal quality and arrhythmia event detection in wearable photoplethysmography devices for real-time detection of atrial fibrillation. The model is trained on approximately one million simulated unlabeled physiological signals and fine-tuned on a curated dataset of over 500 K labeled signals from over 100 individuals from 3 different wearable devices. We demonstrate that, in comparison with a single-task model, our architecture using unsupervised transfer learning through convolutional denoising autoencoders dramatically improves the performance of atrial fibrillation detection from a F1 score of 0.54 to 0.96. We also include in our evaluation a prospectively derived replication cohort of ambulatory participants where the algorithm performed with high sensitivity (0.98), specificity (0.99), and F1 score (0.93). We show that two-stage training can help address the unbalanced data problem common to biomedical applications, where large-scale well-annotated datasets are hard to generate due to the expense of manual annotation, data acquisition, and participant privacy.

Torres-Soto Jessica, Ashley Euan A


Atrial fibrillation, Biomedical engineering