Date: Monday, October 22, 2018
Session Type: ACR Poster Session B
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Infodemiology can help achieve the patient-centered care model. It is the science of determinants and distribution of information on electronic media. It can provide data to develop, collect, and evaluate metrics and indicators for information and communication patterns that are related to epidemiologic data or are useful for public health, policy making or even clinical practice. Google Trends (GTr) and Google AdWords (GAd) are two useful tools to assess demand-based infodemiology indicators. Its use is scanty in rheumatology.
To illustrate the potential use of GTr and GAd, we present three case-studies: A) What search terms related to rheumatology are typed by people in Mexico (MX), the United States of America (USA), and Canada (CAN)? B) What is the search volume for specific DMARDs typed by people in MX, USA, and CAN?, and C) What is the positioning of the search term “arthritis” compared with two non-rheumatic diseases (“hepatitis C”, “breast cancer”) among MX, USA, and CAN?
GTr output is a relative search volume (the biggest volume is transformed to 100 and the rest are given as a proportion of it) and GAd output is the average number of searches per unit of time. We ran 3 different queries (MX, USA, CAN) for each case-study using GTr and GAd for years 2015-2017. Results were exported to a database for further analysis. Search volumes were adjusted per country’s population and expressed as crude rates (searches per million; spm) when appropriate.
To look for information on “rheumatology” people used 298 (MX), 654 (USA), and 637 (CAN) associated terms. “Arthritis” had 656, 550, and 548 associated terms in MX, USA, and CAN, respectively. For “arthritis treatment” there were 635, 569, and 569 associated terms in MX, USA, and CAN, respectively. Regarding DMARDs, there were 1,053 million searches during this period: methotrexate (28.5%), adalimumab (15.6%), rituximab (10.4%), and infliximab and etanercept (8.6% each). However, for every b- or tsDMARD search, there were fourteen (USA, CAN) to fifty-eight (MX) “turmeric” searches for the “treatment of arthritis”. In 2015, search volume for “arthritis” was 120, 638, and 668 spm in MX, USA, and CAN, respectively. For 2016 and 2017, figures remained similar for MX and CAN, but showed a 12% increase for the USA. In MX, “hepatitis C” had 114 spm in 2015, with a 32% increase by 2017. The USA and CAN had 1,131 and 648 spm in 2015, with a 5% increase and an 8% decrease by 2017, respectively. For “breast cancer”, search rates were 4 times higher than for “arthritis” for the three years in MX, with an average increase of 250% each October, concurrent with public awareness campaigns. In the USA and CAN, search volume was 36% and 56% less than that for “arthritis”, with a 57% and 33% increase each October, respectively.
Infodemiology can have an added value to traditional research designs. It can serve for diverse purposes, such as assessing the penetration and impact of public awareness campaigns, patients’ perceived needs, the appearance of new remedies, the positioning of diseases, disease-related cultural differences in ethnic groups, people perceptions on specific health-care systems, etc.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Barajas-Ochoa A, Ramos-Gomez S, Martinez-Arroyo G, Rojero-Gil K, Yanez J, Castillo-Ortiz D, Bustamante-Montes P, Ramos-Remus C. The Potential Uses of an Infodemiology Approach for Health-Care Services in Rheumatology [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018; 70 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/the-potential-uses-of-an-infodemiology-approach-for-health-care-services-in-rheumatology/. Accessed January 25, 2020.
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