Abstract

BACKGROUND: Machine learning (ML) has been applied to an increasing number of predictive problems in laboratory medicine, and published work to date suggests that it has tremendous potential for clinical applications. However, a number of groups have noted the potential pitfalls associated with this work, particularly if certain details of the development and validation pipelines are not carefully controlled. METHODS: To address these pitfalls and other specific challenges when applying machine learning in a laboratory medicine setting, a working group of the International Federation for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine was convened to provide a guidance document for this domain. RESULTS: This manuscript represents consensus recommendations for best practices from that committee, with the goal of improving the quality of developed and published ML models designed for use in clinical laboratories. CONCLUSIONS: The committee believes that implementation of these best practices will improve the quality and reproducibility of machine learning utilized in laboratory medicine. SUMMARY: We have provided our consensus assessment of a number of important practices that are required to ensure that valid, reproducible machine learning (ML) models can be applied to address operational and diagnostic questions in the clinical laboratory. These practices span all phases of model development, from problem formulation through predictive implementation. Although it is not possible to exhaustively discuss every potential pitfall in ML workflows, we believe that our current guidelines capture best practices for avoiding the most common and potentially dangerous errors in this important emerging field. permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

DOI 10.1093/CLINCHEM/HVAD055