Fever time series analysis using slope entropy. Application to early unobtrusive differential diagnosis

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Fever is a readily measurable physiological response that has been used in medicine for centuries. However, the information provided has been greatly limited by a plain thresholding approach, overlooking the additional information provided by temporal variations and temperature values below such threshold that are also representative of the subject status. In this paper, we propose to utilize continuous body temperature time series of patients that developed a fever, in order to apply a method capable of diagnosing the specific underlying fever cause only by means of a pattern relative frequency analysis. This analysis was based on a recently proposed measure, Slope Entropy, applied to a variety of records coming from dengue and malaria patients, among other fever diseases. After an input parameter customization, a classification analysis of malaria and dengue records took place, quantified by the Matthews Correlation Coefficient. This classification yielded a high accuracy, with more than 90% of the records correctly labelled in some cases, demonstrating the feasibility of the approach proposed. This approach, after further studies, or combined with more measures such as Sample Entropy, is certainly very promising in becoming an early diagnosis tool based solely on body temperature temporal patterns, which is of great interest in the current Covid-19 pandemic scenario.



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