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The Ground Truth Trade-Off in Wearable Sensing Studies

01/07/2020
by   Daniyal Liaqat, et al.
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Perez et al's study using the Apple Watch to identify atrial fibrillation (AF) is a watershed moment in large-scale machine learning for wearable computing. Identifying relevant patients will be tremendously important to research in healthcare. For a condition like AF, this could reduce stroke risk by two thirds. In the study by Perez et al, only 450 out of 420,000 individuals had ground truth data. Their study excluded 417,000 participants using the irregular pulse notification. This design decision means their study was only able to report positive predictive value (PPV) and unable to explore sensitivity or specificity. In this editorial, we explore the difficulty of obtaining ground truth data and its implications for study design.

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