Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The prevalence of multimorbidity has been increasing in recent years, posing a major burden for health care delivery and service. Understanding its determinants and impact is proving to be a challenge yet it offers new opportunities for research to go beyond the study of diseases in isolation. In this paper, we review how the field of machine learning provides many tools for addressing research challenges in multimorbidity. We highlight recent advances in promising methods such as matrix factorisation, deep learning, and topological data analysis and how these can take multimorbidity research beyond cross-sectional, expert-driven or confirmatory approaches to gain a better understanding of evolving patterns of multimorbidity. We discuss the challenges and opportunities of machine learning to identify likely causal links between previously poorly understood disease associations while giving an estimate of the uncertainty on such associations. We finally summarise some of the challenges for wider clinical adoption of machine learning research tools and propose some solutions.

Original publication




Journal article


Mech Ageing Dev

Publication Date





Deep learning, Electronic health records, Machine learning, Multimorbidity, Phenotyping