Remember seeing cats in a blog post a few months ago? It’s time for an update! In this post I introduced Mirzakhani the cat and talked about my hopes of using machine learning for early prediction of kidney disease in cats.
I started thinking about how to obtain enough data for the task, and I had conversations with my cat community about what data would be relevant. Cats are diagnosed with kidney disease based on key blood markers which become raised, along with urine properties and behaviour changes. Weight can also be an important indicator of the onset of kidney disease. But who has this data?
As a foster carer with Tom and Queenie Cat Rescue, I was able to use my network to understand what happens to a cat’s data when they visit the vet. Clinics often use an externally managed database system, where a history record is created for each visit. If the cat has tests performed (such as blood or urine), these tests are often sent off to an external lab. The test results come back in a variety of formats, so far I have seen: PDFs, word documents, .txt files, HTML files. These files get attached directly to the history record. Fun…!
I’ve learned a lot along the way so far and we are still only at the beginning of this story. On Saturday 27th October I spoke about the project thus far at the Melbourne Android GDG DevFest 2018. Video of my talk coming soon!