Seeing the forest through the trees: uncovering phenomic complexity through interactive network visualization.

Date Published:

2014 Oct 21


Our aim was to uncover unrecognized phenomic relationships using force-based network visualization methods, based on observed electronic medical record data. A primary phenotype was defined from actual patient profiles in the Multiparameter Intelligent Monitoring in Intensive Care II database. Network visualizations depicting primary relationships were compared to those incorporating secondary adjacencies. Interactivity was enabled through a phenotype visualization software concept: the Phenomics Advisor. Subendocardial infarction with cardiac arrest was demonstrated as a sample phenotype; there were 332 primarily adjacent diagnoses, with 5423 relationships. Primary network visualization suggested a treatment-related complication phenotype and several rare diagnoses; re-clustering by secondary relationships revealed an emergent cluster of smokers with the metabolic syndrome. Network visualization reveals phenotypic patterns that may have remained occult in pairwise correlation analysis. Visualization of complex data, potentially offered as point-of-care tools on mobile devices, may allow clinicians and researchers to quickly generate hypotheses and gain deeper understanding of patient subpopulations.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 12/05/2014