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Data-driven research on eczema: systematic characterization of the field and recommendations for the future

  • Duverdier, A
  • Custovic, A
  • Tanaka, R
Publication Date
May 25, 2022
UPCommons. Portal del coneixement obert de la UPC
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Background The past decade has seen a substantial rise in the employment of modern data-driven methods to study atopic dermatitis (AD)/eczema. The objective of this study is to summarise the past and future of data-driven AD research, and identify areas in the field that would benefit from the application of these methods. Methods We retrieved the publications that applied multivariate statistics (MS), artificial intelligence (AI, including machine learning-ML), and Bayesian statistics (BS) to AD and eczema research from the SCOPUS database over the last 50 years. We conducted a bibliometric analysis to highlight the publication trends and conceptual knowledge structure of the field, and applied topic modelling to retrieve the key topics in the literature. Results Five key themes of data-driven research on AD and eczema were identified: (1) allergic co-morbidities, (2) image analysis and classification, (3) disaggregation, (4) quality of life and treatment response, and (5) risk factors and prevalence. ML&AI methods mapped to studies investigating quality of life, prevalence, risk factors, allergic co-morbidities and disaggregation of AD/eczema, but seldom in studies of therapies. MS was employed evenly between the topics, particularly in studies on risk factors and prevalence. BS was focused on three key topics: treatment, risk factors and allergy. The use of AD or eczema terms was not uniform, with studies applying ML&AI methods using the term eczema more often. Within MS, papers using cluster and factor analysis were often only identified with the term AD. In contrast, those using logistic regression and latent class/transition models were “eczema” papers. Conclusions Research areas that could benefit from the application of data-driven methods include the study of the pathogenesis of the condition and related risk factors, its disaggregation into validated subtypes, and personalised severity management and prognosis. We highlight BS as a new and promising approach in AD and eczema research.

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