Searching For The Urine Osmolality Surrogate: An Automated Machine Learning Approach
Topcu, Deniz Ilhan
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Objectives Automated machine learning (AutoML) tools can help clinical laboratory professionals to develop machine learning models. The objective of this study was to develop a novel formula for the estimation of urine osmolality using an AutoML tool and to determine the efficiency of AutoML tools in a clinical laboratory setting. Methods Three hundred routine urinalysis samples were used for reference osmolality and urine clinical chemistry analysis. The H2O AutoML engine completed the machine learning development steps with minimum human intervention. Four feature groups were created, which include different urinalysis measurements according to the Boruta feature selection algorithm. Method comparison statistics including Spearman correlation, Passing-Bablok regression analysis were performed, and Bland Altman plots were created to compare model predictions with the reference method. The minimum allowable bias (24.17%) from biological variation data was used as the limit of agreement. Results The AutoML engine developed a total of 183 ML models. Conductivity and specific gravity had the highest variable importance. Models that include conductivity, specific gravity, and other urinalysis parameters had the highest R-2 (0.70-0.83), and 70-84% of results were within the limit of agreement. Conclusions Combining urinary conductivity with other urinalysis parameters using validated machine learning models can yield a promising surrogate. Additionally, AutoML tools facilitate the machine learning development cycle and should be considered for developing ML models in clinical laboratories.