Exploration of patterns predicting renal damage in patients with diabetes type II using a visual temporal analysis laboratory

Denis Klimov, Alexander Shknevsky, Yuval Shahar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective To analyze the longitudinal data of multiple patients and to discover new temporal knowledge, we designed and developed the Visual Temporal Analysis Laboratory (ViTA-Lab). In this study, we demonstrate several of the capabilities of the ViTA-Lab framework through the exploration of renal-damage risk factors in patients with diabetes type II. Materials and methods The ViTA-Lab framework combines data-driven temporal data mining techniques, with interactive, query-driven, visual analytical capabilities, to support, in an integrated fashion, an iterative investigation of timeoriented clinical data and of patterns discovered in them. Patterns discovered through the data mining mode can be explored visually, and vice versa. Both analysis modes are supported by a rich underlying ontology of clinical concepts, their relations, and their temporal properties. The knowledge enables us to apply a temporal-abstraction pre-processing phase that abstracts in a context-sensitive manner raw time-stamped data into interval-based clinically meaningful interpretations, increasing the results' significance. We demonstrate our approach through the exploration of risk factors associated with future renal damage (micro-albuminuria and macro-albuminuria) and their relationship to the hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C ) and creatinine level concepts, in the longitudinal records of 22 000 patients with diabetes type II followed for up to 5 years. Results The iterative ViTA-Lab analysis process was highly feasible. Higher ranges of either normal albuminuria or normal creatinine values and their combination were shown to be significantly associated with future micro-albuminuria and macro-albuminuria. The risk increased given high HbA1C levels for women in the lower range of normal albuminuria, and for men in the higher range of albuminuria. Conclusions The ViTA-Lab framework can potentially serve as a virtual laboratory for investigations of large masses of longitudinal clinical databases, for discovery of new knowledge through interactive exploration, clustering, classification, and prediction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-289
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Data analysis
  • Knowledge discovery
  • Ontologies
  • Temporal abstraction
  • Temporal data mining
  • Visual analytics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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