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Interpretability of machine learning‐based prediction models in healthcare

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Abstract There is a need of ensuring that learning (ML) models are interpretable. Higher interpretability of the model means easier comprehension and explanation of future predictions for end‐users. Further, interpretable ML models allow healthcare experts to make reasonable and data‐driven decisions to provide personalized decisions that can ultimately lead to higher quality of service in healthcare. Generally, we can classify interpretability approaches in two groups where the first focuses on personalized interpretation (local interpretability) while the second summarizes prediction models on a population level (global interpretability). Alternatively, we can group interpretability methods into model‐specific techniques, which are designed to interpret predictions generated by a specific model, such as a neural network, and model‐agnostic approaches, which provide easy‐to‐understand explanations of predictions made by any ML model. Here, we give an overview of interpretability approaches using structured data and provide examples of practical interpretability of ML in different areas of healthcare, including prediction of health‐related outcomes, optimizing treatments, or improving the efficiency of screening for specific conditions. Further, we outline future directions for interpretable ML and highlight the importance of developing algorithmic solutions that can enable ML driven decision making in high‐stakes healthcare problems. This article is categorized under: Application Areas > Health Care
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