Google Trends in Medical Research

Google Trends is a Google search analysis service for different regions and languages. The service allows simultaneous comparison of up to 5 terms or topics. Results are sorted according to geographical areas over a time series. The “Trends” can be used to monitor and analyze people’s medical complaints, interests and awareness. If you doubt the value of these data in medical research, just check the examples listed below.
1: Azzam DB, Nag N, Tran J, Chen L, Visnagra K, Marshall K, Wade M. A Novel Epidemiological Approach to Geographically Mapping Population Dry Eye Disease in the United States Through Google Trends. Cornea. 2020 Nov 6. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000002579. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33177410.
2: Roncon L, Zuin M, Barco S, Zuliani G, Konstantinides SV. Increased interest in acute pulmonary embolism in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic: a google trends-based analysis. J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2020 Nov 11. doi: 10.1007/s11239-020-02336-9. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33175288.
3: Thirunavukarasu AJ. Evaluating the mainstream impact of ophthalmological research with Google Trends. Eye (Lond). 2020 Nov 1:1–3. doi:10.1038/s41433-020-01257-4. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33132384; PMCID: PMC7603637.
4: Park TH, Kim WI, Park S, Ahn J, Cho MK, Kim S. Public Interest in Acne on the Internet: Comparison of Search Information From Google Trends and Naver. J Med Internet Res. 2020 Oct 26;22(10):e19427. doi: 10.2196/19427. PMID: 33104003.
5: Wu AW, Higgins TS, Ting JY, Illing EA. Use of Google Trends to investigate anosmia: power and pitfalls of infodemiology. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2020 Oct 20. doi: 10.1002/alr.22725. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33078575.
6: Tas F, Erturk K. Google searching as an indicator of population’s interest in melanoma: A comparative study in Google Trends. Dermatol Ther. 2020 Oct 17:e14421. doi: 10.1111/dth.14421. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33068055.
7: Aleman R, Milla-Matute C, Mora MF, Gomez CO, Blanco DG, Lo Menzo E, Szomstein S, Rosenthal RJ. Google Trends as a resource for bariatric education: what do patients want to know? Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2020 Aug 26:S1550-7289(20)30471-8. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2020.08.007. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33041194.
8: Kaidashev I, Morokhovets H, Rodinkova V, DuBuske L, Bousquet J. Assessment of Google Trends terms reporting allergies and the grass pollen season in Ukraine. World Allergy Organ J. 2020 Sep 30;13(10):100465. doi: 10.1016/j.waojou.2020.100465. PMID: 33024481; PMCID: PMC7529821.
9: Li Z, Filobbos G. What is the UK Public Searching for? A Correlation Analysis of Google Trends Search Terms and Cosmetic Surgery in the UK. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2020 Aug 25:1–7. doi: 10.1007/s00266-020-01918-5. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32986171; PMCID: PMC7520622.
10: Gupta AK, Quinlan EM. Changing trends in surgical hair restoration: Use of Google Trends and the ISHRS practice census survey. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020 Nov;19(11):2974-2981. doi: 10.1111/jocd.13723. Epub 2020 Oct 7. PMID: 32945026.
11: Sahanic S, Boehm A, Pizzini A, Sonnweber T, Aichner M, Weiss G, Loeffler- Ragg J, Tancevski I. Assessing self-medication for obstructive airway disease during COVID-19 using Google Trends. Eur Respir J. 2020 Sep 17:2002851. doi: 10.1183/13993003.02851-2020. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32943405.
12: Merheb S, Wang N, Weinberg J, Wang DS, Wason SEL. Online interest in surgical treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia using Google trends. World J Urol. 2020 Sep 14. doi: 10.1007/s00345-020-03445-z. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32926225.
13: Wang Y, Zhang H, Zheng Q, Tang K, Sun Q. Public interest in Raynaud’s phenomenon: A Google Trends analysis. Dermatol Ther. 2020 Jul 16:e14017. doi: 10.1111/dth.14017. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32672856.

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