Trends of infodemiology studies: a scoping review

Health Info Libr J. 2018 Jun;35(2):91-120. doi: 10.1111/hir.12216. Epub 2018 May 4.


Introduction: The health care industry is rich in data and information. Web technologies, such as search engines and social media, have provided an opportunity for the management of user generated data in real time in the form of infodemiology studies. The aim of this study was to investigate infodemiology studies conducted during 2002-2016, and compare them based on developed, developing and in transition countries.

Methods: This scoping review was conducted in 2017 with the help of the PRISMA guidelines. PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, Web of Knowledge, Google Scholar, Wiley and Springer databases were searched between the years 2002 and 2016. Finally, 56 articles were included in the review and analysed.

Results: The initial infodemiology studies pertain to the quality assessment of the hospital's websites. Most of the studies were on developed countries, based on flu, and published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Conclusion: The infodemiology approach provides unmatched opportunities for the management of health data and information generated by the users. Using this potential will provide unique opportunities for the health information need assessment in real time by health librarians and thereby provide evidence based health information to the people.

Keywords: Web 2.0; consumer health information; data mining; internet; review, scoping; social media; social networking.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Factual / trends*
  • Epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Social Media / instrumentation
  • Social Media / trends*
  • Social Networking