The recent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), also known as coronavirus disease (COVID)-19, has appeared as a global pandemic with a high mortality rate. The main complication of COVID-19 is rapid respirational deterioration, which may cause life-threatening pneumonia conditions. Global healthcare systems are currently facing a scarcity of resources to assist critical patients simultaneously. Indeed, non-critical patients are mostly advised to self-isolate or quarantine themselves at home. However, there are limited healthcare services available during self-isolation at home. According to research, nearly 20–30% of COVID patients require hospitalization, while almost 5–12% of patients may require intensive care due to severe health conditions. This pandemic requires global healthcare systems that are intelligent, secure, and reliable. Tremendous efforts have been made already to develop non-contact sensing technologies for the diagnosis of COVID-19. The most significant early indication of COVID-19 is rapid and abnormal breathing. In this research work, RF-based technology is used to collect real-time breathing abnormalities data. Subsequently, based on this data, a large dataset of simulated breathing abnormalities is generated using the curve fitting technique for developing a machine learning (ML) classification model. The advantages of generating simulated breathing abnormalities data are two-fold; it will help counter the daunting and time-consuming task of real-time data collection and improve the ML model accuracy. Several ML algorithms are exploited to classify eight breathing abnormalities: eupnea, bradypnea, tachypnea, Biot, sighing, Kussmaul, Cheyne–Stokes, and central sleep apnea (CSA). The performance of ML algorithms is evaluated based on accuracy, prediction speed, and training time for real-time breathing data and simulated breathing data. The results show that the proposed platform for real-time data classifies breathing patterns with a maximum accuracy of 97.5%, whereas by introducing simulated breathing data, the accuracy increases up to 99.3%. This work has a notable medical impact, as the introduced method mitigates the challenge of data collection to build a realistic model of a large dataset during the pandemic.


© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Cite as

Rehman, M., Shah, R., Khan, M., Shah, S., AbuAli, N., Yang, X., Alomainy, A., Imran, M. & Abbasi, Q. 2021, 'Improving machine learning classification accuracy for breathing abnormalities by enhancing dataset', Sensors, 21(20), article no: 6750. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21206750

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Last updated: 03 September 2022
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