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Pattern recognition is the identification and proper labeling of particular configurations of data (i.e., data patterns). The concept includes human- and machine-based pattern recognition, but the latter has been receiving increasing attention in medicine due to advances in computer science and information technology.

Extracting Patterns from Data

The process of diagnosing or making prognostic assessments of disease processes has traditionally been performed by clinicians, who abstract common features in patient data and label these patterns appropriately. These data abstractions are based on findings from anamnesis, physical exam, laboratory tests, and other adjunct diagnostic modalities such as imaging and electrophysiology. Each of these findings can be viewed at different abstraction levels, ranging from their instantiation in a single patient (e.g., “creatinine = 2.5 mg/dl”) to an abstract concept ...

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