MatrixFlow: Temporal Network Visual Analytics to Track Symptom Evolution during Disease Progression

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Jimeng Sun
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Objective: To develop a visual analytic system to help medical professionals improve disease diagnosis by providing insights for understanding disease progression. Methods: We develop MatrixFlow, a visual analytic system that takes clinical event sequences of patients as input, constructs time-evolving networks and visualizes them as a temporal flow of matrices. MatrixFlow provides several interactive features for analysis: 1) one can sort the events based on the similarity in order to accentuate underlying cluster patterns among those events; 2) one can compare co-occurrence events over time and across cohorts through additional line graph visualization. Results: MatrixFlow is applied to visualize heart failure (HF) symptom events extracted from a large cohort of HF cases and controls (n=50,625), which allows medical experts to reach insights involving temporal patterns and clusters of interest, and compare cohorts in novel ways that may lead to improved disease diagnoses. Conclusions: MatrixFlow is an interactive visual analytic system that allows users to quickly discover patterns in clinical event sequences. By unearthing the patterns hidden within and displaying them to medical experts, users become empowered to make decisions influenced by historical patterns.