Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 35204556
Link to DOI – 10.3390/diagnostics12020463
Diagnostics (Basel) 2022 Feb; 12(2):
Common Audiological Functional Parameters (CAFPAs) were previously introduced as abstract, measurement-independent representation of audiological knowledge, and expert-estimated CAFPAs were shown to be applicable as an interpretable intermediate layer in a clinical decision support system (CDSS). Prediction models for CAFPAs were built based on expert knowledge and one audiological database to allow for data-driven estimation of CAFPAs for new, individual patients for whom no expert-estimated CAFPAs are available. Based on the combination of these components, the current study explores the feasibility of constructing a CDSS which is as interpretable as expert knowledge-based classification and as data-driven as machine learning-based classification. To test this hypothesis, the current study investigated the equivalence in performance of predicted CAFPAs compared to expert-estimated CAFPAs in an audiological classification task, analyzed the importance of different CAFPAs for high and comparable performance, and derived explanations for differences in classified categories. Results show that the combination of predicted CAFPAs and statistical classification enables to build an interpretable but data-driven CDSS. The classification provides good accuracy, with most categories being correctly classified, while some confusions can be explained by the properties of the employed database. This could be improved by including additional databases in the CDSS, which is possible within the presented framework.