Background: The annual conference of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology is one the largest dermatology conferences worldwide.
Objectives: Network analysis can be used for in-depth insight into trending topics and underlying trends at the congress.
Materials & methods: Network analysis was employed to assess the entirety of the submitted abstracts to the congress in 2019. The data were processed, analysed, and visualised using easy-to-understand network graphs. Topics were then compared to their respective global burden (Disease Adjusted Life Years [DALYs]) and the number of respective publications on PubMed in the year 2018.
Results: Overall, 1,280 lecture titles and 1,941 poster titles were included in the final analysis. The most frequently used terms were "patients" (n = 473), "treatment" (n = 301), and "psoriasis" (n = 335). Relative to DALYs, "psoriasis" (+21.9%) among others, was rather over-represented, while "fungal skin diseases" (-7.6%) and "urticaria" (-6.4%) were under-represented. Compared to the relative number of PubMed publications in 2018, "psoriasis" (+20.3%), "acne" (+7.9%), and "alopecia" (+3.1%) were over-represented, while "melanoma" (-22.5%), "dermatitis" (-4.2%) and "pruritus" (-3.4%) were rather under-represented.
Conclusion: The network analysis showed that the congress was a patient and therapy-centred event. An explanation for the particular focus on chronic inflammatory skin diseases and melanoma would be the introduction of new therapies at the congress. To delineate trends over time, a longitudinal network analysis including several congresses should be conducted and could be used to determine additional topics to be included in future events.
Keywords: DALY; conference; dermatology; digital medicine; melanoma; network analysis; psoriasis; scientography.