Methods Inf Med 2018; 57(04): 194-196
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1673243
Focus Theme – Editorial
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Machine Learning and Data Analytics in Pervasive Health

Nuria Oliver
1  Vodafone, London, UK
Oscar Mayora
2  FBK, Trento, Italy
Michael Marschollek
3  Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics of University of Braunschweig – Institute of Technology and Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received: 28 July 2018

accepted: 31 July 2018

Publication Date:
24 January 2019 (online)


Introduction: This accompanying editorial provides a brief introduction to this focus theme, focused on “Machine Learning and Data Analytics in Pervasive Health”.

Objective: The innovative use of machine learning technologies combining small and big data analytics will support a better provisioning of healthcare to citizens. This focus theme aims to present contributions at the crossroads of pervasive health technologies and data analytics as key enablers for achieving personalised medicine for diagnosis and treatment purposes.

Methods: A call for paper was announced to all participants of the “11th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare”, to different working groups of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) and European Federation of Medical Informatics (EFMI) and was published in June 2017 on the website of Methods of Information in Medicine. A peer review process was conducted to select the papers for this focus theme.

Results: Four papers were selected to be included in this focus theme. The paper topics cover a broad range of machine learning and data analytics applications in healthcare including detection of injurious subtypes of patient-ventilator asynchrony, early detection of cognitive impairment, effective use of small data sets for estimating the performance of radiotherapy in bladder cancer treatment, and the use negation detection in and information extraction from unstructured medical texts.

Conclusions: The use of machine learning and data analytics technologies in healthcare is facing a renewed impulse due to the availability of large amounts and new sources of human behavioral and physiological data, such as that captured by mobile and pervasive devices traditionally considered as nonmainstream for healthcare provision and management.