Prediction of tuberculosis using an automated machine learning platform for models trained on synthetic data
High-quality medical data is critical to the development and implementation of machine learning (ML) algorithms in healthcare; however, security, and privacy concerns continue to limit access. We sought to determine the utility of “synthetic data” in training ML algorithms for the detection of tuberculosis (TB) from inflammatory biomarker profiles. A retrospective dataset (A) comprised of 278 patients was used to generate synthetic datasets (B, C, and D) for training models prior to secondary validation on a generalization dataset. ML models trained and validated on the Dataset A (real) demonstrated an accuracy of 90%, a sensitivity of 89% (95% CI, 83–94%), and a specificity of 100% (95% CI, 81–100%). Models trained using the optimal synthetic dataset B showed an accuracy of 91%, a sensitivity of 93% (95% CI, 87–96%), and a specificity of 77% (95% CI, 50–93%). Synthetic datasets C and D displayed diminished performance measures (respective accuracies of 71% and 54%). This pilot study highlights the promise of synthetic data as an expedited means for ML algorithm development.