Reduction of false alarms in the intensive care unit using an optimized machine learning based approach

NPJ Digit Med. 2019 Sep 5;2:86. doi: 10.1038/s41746-019-0160-7. eCollection 2019.


This work attempts to reduce the number of false alarms generated by bedside monitors in the intensive care unit (ICU), as a majority of current alarms are false. In this study, we applied methods that can be categorized into three stages: signal processing, feature extraction, and optimized machine learning. At the stage of signal processing, we ensured that the heartbeats were properly annotated. During feature extraction, besides extracting features that are relevant to the arrhythmic alarms, we also extracted a set of signal quality indices (SQIs), which we used to distinguish noise/artifact from normal physiological signals. When applying a machine learning algorithm (Random Forest), we performed feature selection in order to reduce the complexity of the models and improve the efficiency of the algorithm. The dataset used is from Reducing False Arrhythmia Alarms in the ICU: the PhysioNet/Computing in Cardiology Challenge 2015. Using the performance metric "score" from the Challenge, we achieved a score of 83.08 in the real-time category on the hidden test set, which is the highest in all published work.

Keywords: Biomedical engineering; Biotechnology; Health care.