Synthetic Event Time Series Health Data Generation

by   Saloni Dash, et al.

Synthetic medical data which preserves privacy while maintaining utility can be used as an alternative to real medical data, which has privacy costs and resource constraints associated with it. At present, most models focus on generating cross-sectional health data which is not necessarily representative of real data. In reality, medical data is longitudinal in nature, with a single patient having multiple health events, non-uniformly distributed throughout their lifetime. These events are influenced by patient covariates such as comorbidities, age group, gender etc. as well as external temporal effects (e.g. flu season). While there exist seminal methods to model time series data, it becomes increasingly challenging to extend these methods to medical event time series data. Due to the complexity of the real data, in which each patient visit is an event, we transform the data by using summary statistics to characterize the events for a fixed set of time intervals, to facilitate analysis and interpretability. We then train a generative adversarial network to generate synthetic data. We demonstrate this approach by generating human sleep patterns, from a publicly available dataset. We empirically evaluate the generated data and show close univariate resemblance between synthetic and real data. However, we also demonstrate how stratification by covariates is required to gain a deeper understanding of synthetic data quality.


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