Artificial Intelligence in Medicine

DeepMI: Deep multi-lead ECG fusion for identifying myocardial infarction and its occurrence-time

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Myocardial Infarction (MI) has the highest mortality of all cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Detection of MI and information regarding its occurrence-time in particular, would enable timely interventions that may improve patient outcomes, thereby reducing the global rise in CVD deaths. Electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings are currently used to screen MI patients. However, manual inspection of ECGs is time-consuming and prone to subjective bias. Machine learning methods have been adopted for automated ECG diagnosis, but most approaches require extraction of ECG beats or consider leads independently of one another. We propose an end-to-end deep learning approach, DeepMI, to classify MI from Normal cases as well as identifying the time-occurrence of MI (defined as Acute, Recent and Old), using a collection of fusion strategies on 12 ECG leads at data-, feature-, and decision-level. In order to minimise computational overhead, we employ transfer learning using existing computer vision networks. Moreover, we use recurrent neural networks to encode the longitudinal information inherent in ECGs. We validated DeepMI on a dataset collected from 17,381 patients, in which over 323,000 samples were extracted per ECG lead. We were able to classify Normal cases as well as Acute, Recent and Old onset cases of MI, with AUROCs of 96.7%, 82.9%, 68.6% and 73.8%, respectively. We have demonstrated a multi-lead fusion approach to detect the presence and occurrence-time of MI. Our end-to-end framework provides flexibility for different levels of multi-lead ECG fusion and performs feature extraction via transfer learning.