A probabilistic semantic analysis of eHealth scientific literature
Introduction:eHealth emerged as an interdisciplinary research area about 70 years ago. This study employs proba-bilistic techniques to semantically analyse scientific literature related to the field of eHealth in order to identify topicsand trends and discuss their comparative evolution.Methods:Authors collected titles and abstracts of published literature on eHealth as indexed in PubMed. Basicstatistical and bibliometric techniques were applied to overall describe the collected corpus; Latent DirichletAllocation was employed for unsupervised topics identification; topics trends analysis was performed, and correlationgraphs were plotted were relevant.Results:A total of 30,425 records on eHealth were retrieved from PubMed (all records till 31 December 2017, searchon 8 May 2018) and 23,988 of these were included to the study corpus. eHealth domain shows a growth higher than thegrowth of the entire PubMed corpus, with a mean increase of eHealth corpus proportion of about 7% per year for thelast 20 years. Probabilistic topics modelling identified 100 meaningful topics, which were organised by the authors in ninedifferent categories: general; service model; disease; medical specialty; behaviour and lifestyle; education; technology;evaluation; and regulatory issues.Discussion:Trends analysis shows a continuous shift in focus. Early emphasis on medical image transmission and systemintegration has been replaced by increased focus on standards, wearables and sensor devices, now giving way to mobileapplications, social media and data analytics. Attention on disease is also shifting, from initial popularity of surgery, traumaand acute heart disease, to the emergence of chronic disease support, and the recent attention to cancer, infectiousdisease, mental disorders, paediatrics and perinatal care; most interestingly the current swift increase is in research relatedto lifestyle and behaviour change. The steady growth of all topics related to assessment and various systematic evaluationtechniques indicates a maturing research field that moves towards real world application.