Infodemiology and infoveillance: framework for an emerging set of public health informatics methods to analyze search, communication and publication behavior on the Internet.

Journal of Medical Internet Research
Gunther Eysenbach

Abstract

Infodemiology can be defined as the science of distribution and determinants of information in an electronic medium, specifically the Internet, or in a population, with the ultimate aim to inform public health and public policy. Infodemiology data can be collected and analyzed in near real time. Examples for infodemiology applications include the analysis of queries from Internet search engines to predict disease outbreaks (eg. influenza), monitoring peoples' status updates on microblogs such as Twitter for syndromic surveillance, detecting and quantifying disparities in health information availability, identifying and monitoring of public health relevant publications on the Internet (eg. anti-vaccination sites, but also news articles or expert-curated outbreak reports), automated tools to measure information diffusion and knowledge translation, and tracking the effectiveness of health marketing campaigns. Moreover, analyzing how people search and navigate the Internet for health-related information, as well as how they communicate and share this information, can provide valuable insights into health-related behavior of populations. Seven years after the infodemiology concept was first introduced, this paper revisits the emergi...Continue Reading

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