Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


November 2015

Searching for hypertension

I love clickstream data – the data we collect as people use the site.  We know – anonymously – the search terms used and articles viewed.  We have just developed the ability to ‘mine’ this data; nearly 100 million items it!

Below are two images, both taken from searches for hypertension.  The first is for all the data we have from 2009 (tens of thousands of searches for hypertension) and the second is from 2015 only (still thousands).  What we’ve done is taken these searches, removed the term hypertension and created a wordcloud of the remaining words.  These words being the additional terms users used when searching for hypertension.  So, if a user searched for hypertension pregnancy, we simply chart the pregnancy term.

Searches since 2009
Searches in 2015

They look fairly similar but from a cursory analysis five terms are more prominent in 2015, those being:

  • placebo
  • aspirin
  • patient
  • enalapril
  • obesity

Interesting for sure, but more than that?

A new analytic ‘toy’

I’m very happy to have been given access to a new analytic tool on Trip.  It analyses the near 100 million bits of clickstream data (sounds like ‘big data’ to me).

I simply enter a search term and it exports every instance of a person using that search term, what date and time, what they clicked on and if they used any additional search terms.  For example, a quick search on an incomplete data set (still only half way through full indexing the 100 million records) for Fingolimod (or the brand name Gilenya) revealed it had been searched over 350 times in the last five years.  The top five articles viewed were:

  1. Fingolimod for the treatment of highly active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence – Technology Appraisals (47 views)
  2. Fingolimod – a potential new oral treatment for multiple sclerosis? NPC Rapid Reviews (40)
  3. Fingolimod – Multiple Sclerosis. Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health – Common Drug Review (35)
  4. Fingolimod (Gilenya) – in highly active relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Scottish Medicines Consortium (30)
  5. Fingolimod versus Glatiramer for Adults with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: Clinical and Cost-Effectiveness. Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health – Rapid Review (26)

And below is a tag cloud of the additional terms added to the search:

 NOTE: the tag cloud formation software capped the number of words displayed to something like the top fifty.

Blog at

Up ↑