Leveraging Google Trends, Twitter, and Wikipedia to Investigate the Impact of a Celebrity's Death from Rheumatoid Arthritis

Naim Mahroum, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi, Kassem Sharif, Vincenza Gianfredi, Daniele Nucci, Roberto Rosselli, Francesco Brigo, Mohammad Adawi, Howard Amital, Abdulla Watad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background Technological advancements, such as patient-centered smartphone applications, have enabled to support self-management of the disease. Further, the accessibility to health information through the Internet has grown tremendously. This article aimed to investigate how big data can be useful to assess the impact of a celebrity's rheumatic disease on the public opinion. Methods Variable tools and statistical/computational approaches have been used, including massive data mining of Google Trends, Wikipedia, Twitter, and big data analytics. These tools were mined using an in-house script, which facilitated the process of data collection, parsing, handling, processing, and normalization. Results From Google Trends, the temporal correlation between "Anna Marchesini" and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) queries resulted 0.66 before Anna Marchesini's death and 0.90 after Anna Marchesini's death. The geospatial correlation between "Anna Marchesini" and RA queries resulted 0.45 before Anna Marchesini's death and 0.52 after Anna Marchesini's death. From Wikitrends, after Anna Marchesini's death, the number of accesses to Wikipedia page for RA has increased 5770%. From Twitter, 1979 tweets have been retrieved. Numbers of likes, retweets, and hashtags have increased throughout time. Conclusions Novel data streams and big data analytics are effective to assess the impact of a disease in a famous person on the laypeople.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-192
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
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  • Google Trends
  • Web search
  • Wikipedia
  • big data
  • celebrity capital
  • rheumatoid arthritis


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