A model for predicting fall risks of hospitalized elderly in Taiwan-A machine learning approach based on both electronic health records and comprehensive geriatric assessment

Front Med (Lausanne). 2022 Aug 9;9:937216. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2022.937216. eCollection 2022.


Backgrounds: Falls are currently one of the important safety issues of elderly inpatients. Falls can lead to their injury, reduced mobility and comorbidity. In hospitals, it may cause medical disputes and staff guilty feelings and anxiety. We aimed to predict fall risks among hospitalized elderly patients using an approach of artificial intelligence.

Materials and methods: Our working hypothesis was that if hospitalized elderly patients have multiple risk factors, their incidence of falls is higher. Artificial intelligence was then used to predict the incidence of falls of these patients. We enrolled those elderly patients aged >65 years old and were admitted to the geriatric ward during 2018 and 2019, at a single medical center in central Taiwan. We collected 21 physiological and clinical data of these patients from their electronic health records (EHR) with their comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA). Data included demographic information, vital signs, visual ability, hearing ability, previous medication, and activity of daily living. We separated data from a total of 1,101 patients into 3 datasets: (a) training dataset, (b) testing dataset and (c) validation dataset. To predict incidence of falls, we applied 6 models: (a) Deep neural network (DNN), (b) machine learning algorithm extreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost), (c) Light Gradient Boosting Machine (LightGBM), (d) Random Forest, (e) Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) and (f) logistic regression.

Results: From modeling data of 1,101 elderly patients, we found that machine learning algorithm XGBoost, LightGBM, Random forest, SGD and logistic regression were successfully trained. Finally, machine learning algorithm XGBoost achieved 73.2% accuracy.

Conclusion: This is the first machine-learning based study using both EHR and CGA to predict fall risks of elderly. Multiple risk factors of falls in hospitalized elderly patients can be put into a machine learning model to predict future falls for early planned actions. Future studies should be focused on the model fitting and accuracy of data analysis.

Keywords: comprehensive geriatric assessment; elderly; fall accident; machine learning; prediction model.