Association between Google Trends and Grass Pollen exposures in Queensland, Australia

Grass pollen allergies signify an important public health concern in Australia. More than 4.6 million people in Australia had Allergic Rhinitis (AR) in 2017-18. About 40% of the Australia population, prefer to access health information for self-diagnosis and treatment through internet platforms. Internet information is preferred for the management of allergic rhinitis due to the suboptimal nature of the chronic disease condition. Online platforms such as social media and search engines serve as an incredible source for tracking disease outbreaks and occurrences within patient populations. One of the popular trending platforms for investigating and studying various health disease trends is Google Trends. It is hypothesised that Google trend search term queries increase during the pollen season in Queensland. The two objectives of this project are:

  • To assess the seasonality of Google search terms associated with AR within Australia and Queensland.
  • To determine if Google Trends was a valuable health indicator to predict allergy symptoms trends during the pollen season.

Funding / Grants

  • Centre for Children’s Health Research Scholarship Stipend (2017-2021) (2017 - 2021)

Chief Investigators

Other Team Members

  • Dr Darren Wraith, QUT School of Public Health, Brisbane