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CPViz: Visualizing clinical pathways represented in higher-order networks

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
Electronic Imaging
Publication Date
Conference Name
Visualization and Data Analysis
Conference Location
San Francisco, California, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

To improve clinical care practice, it is important to understand the variability of clinical pathways executed in different contexts (e.g., pathways in different geographical locations, demographics, and phenotypic groups). A common way of representing clinical pathways is through network-based representations that capture trajectories of treatment steps. However, first-order networks, which are based on the Markovian property and the de facto standard model to represent transitions between steps, often fail to capture real trajectories. This paper introduces a visual analytic tool to explore and compare pathways represented in higher-order networks. Because each higher node in the network is a subtrajectory (i.e., partial or full history of treatment steps), the tool can display true sequences of treatment steps and compute the similarity of the two networks in a space of higher-order nodes. The tool also highlights areas in which the two networks are similar and dissimilar and how a certain subtrajectory is realized differently in different pathways. The paper demonstrates the tool's usefulness by applying it to multiple antidepressant pharmacotherapy pathways for veterans diagnosed with major depressive disorder and by illustrating heterogeneity in prescription patterns across pathways.