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The majority of patients in the hospital are ambulatory and would benefit significantly from predictive and personalized monitoring systems. Such patients are well suited to having their physiological condition monitored using low-power, minimally intrusive wearable sensors. Despite data-collection systems now being manufactured commercially, allowing physiological data to be acquired from mobile patients, little work has been undertaken on the use of the resultant data in a principled manner for robust patient care, including predictive monitoring. Most current devices generate so many false-positive alerts that devices cannot be used for routine clinical practice. This paper explores principled machine learning approaches to interpreting large quantities of continuously acquired, multivariate physiological data, using wearable patient monitors, where the goal is to provide early warning of serious physiological determination, such that a degree of predictive care may be provided. We adopt a one-class support vector machine formulation, proposing a formulation for determining the free parameters of the model using partial area under the ROC curve, a method arising from the unique requirements of performing online analysis with data from patient-worn sensors. There are few clinical evaluations of machine learning techniques in the literature, so we present results from a study at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust devised to investigate the large-scale clinical use of patient-worn sensors for predictive monitoring in a ward with a high incidence of patient mortality. We show that our system can combine routine manual observations made by clinical staff with the continuous data acquired from wearable sensors. Practical considerations and recommendations based on our experiences of this clinical study are discussed, in the context of a framework for personalized monitoring.

Original publication




Journal article


IEEE journal of biomedical and health informatics

Publication Date





722 - 730


Humans, Monitoring, Ambulatory, Telemedicine, Clothing, Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted, Medical Informatics Applications, Individualized Medicine, Support Vector Machines