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Previously submitted to: JMIR Medical Informatics (no longer under consideration since Oct 26, 2019)

Date Submitted: Aug 28, 2019
Open Peer Review Period: Aug 28, 2019 - Oct 23, 2019
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Exploring the Knowledge Structure of Research on Internet of Medical Things: Bibliometric and Visualization Analysis

  • Wei Dai; 
  • Zhiguo Zhang; 
  • Shimin Wang; 
  • Cui Liu; 
  • Rui Yao; 
  • Lining Shen; 



In the last few decades, the literature related to Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has grown rapidly. Obviously, widespread application of IoMT is helpful for considerably improving the efficiency of medical services. In addition, IoMT enables economies and societies to develop in a sustainable way to some extent. However, little is known about the panorama of IoMT-related research based on a visualization approach and bibliometrics.


The purpose of this study was to deeply detect the knowledge structure, including literature distribution, clustering of keywords and topic evolution of IoMT-related research, by analyzing the current publication outputs related to IoMT.


We conducted various bibliometric analyses on IoMT-related literature, including publication growth analysis, and the distribution of core countries and journals. Then, keyword co-occurrence analysis, as well as temporal visualization bar, was performed based on the bibliographic records during the period from 1997 to 2018.


A total of 6415 bibliographic records related to IoMT were identified. The United States and China take the lead in the publication output related to IoMT, followed by Korea, United Kingdom, and India. Furthermore, the collaboration between continents as well as countries is uneven; North America and Asia have the greatest frequent cooperation with other continents, mainly owing to the great contribution of the United States and China. There are 6 important research directions identified, with an imbalanced state. Moreover, these 6 topics can be further categorized into 3 areas: (1) Technologies and devices of IoMT, (2) Healthcare applications, and (3) Security and privacy. Finally, the evolution of topic were identified, namely from “basic research” through “hardware and software updates” to “application of new technologies”.


This study provides important insights into the knowledge structure of IoMT. Cooperation among countries is not balanced, and the main research content of IoMT is the application of new technologies in recent years. Moreover, user security and privacy issues are also hotspots in the future. All of these are helpful for scholars and institutions worldwide to obtain the basis for comprehensive understanding and potential guidance in future research in this field, which can further enhance the sustainable development of countries.


Please cite as:

Dai W, Zhang Z, Wang S, Liu C, Yao R, Shen L

Exploring the Knowledge Structure of Research on Internet of Medical Things: Bibliometric and Visualization Analysis

JMIR Preprints. 28/08/2019:16025

DOI: 10.2196/preprints.16025


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