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In Interactive journal of medical research

BACKGROUND : Infectious diseases represent a major challenge for health systems worldwide. With the recent global pandemic of COVID-19, the need to research strategies to treat these health problems has become even more pressing. Although the literature on big data and data science in health has grown rapidly, few studies have synthesized these individual studies, and none has identified the utility of big data in infectious disease surveillance and modeling.

OBJECTIVE : This paper aims to synthesize research and identify hotspots of big data in infectious disease epidemiology.

METHODS : Bibliometric data from 3054 documents that satisfied the inclusion criteria were retrieved from the Web of Science database over 22 years (2000-2022) were analyzed and reviewed. The search retrieval occurred on October 17, 2022. Bibliometric analysis was performed to illustrate the relationships between research constituents, topics, and key terms in the retrieved documents.

RESULTS : The bibliometric analysis revealed internet searches and social media as the most utilized big data sources for infectious disease surveillance or modeling. It also placed the US and Chinese institutions as leaders in this research area. Disease monitoring and surveillance, utility of electronic health (or medical) records, methodology framework for infodemiology tools, and machine/deep learning were identified as the core research themes.

CONCLUSIONS : Proposals for future studies are made based on these findings. This study will provide healthcare informatics scholars with a comprehensive understanding of big data research in infectious disease epidemiology.

Amusa Lateef Babatunde, Twinomurinzi Hossana, Phalane Edith, Phaswana-Mafuya Refilwe Nancy