July 17, 2024
New study utilizes shopping habits to predict respiratory disease deaths

New study utilizes shopping habits to predict respiratory disease deaths

A recent study conducted by researchers at Nottingham University Business School has made significant progress in predicting deaths caused by respiratory diseases. By analyzing the shopping habits of customers in local authority areas across England, researchers were able to establish a correlation between the purchase of over-the-counter medications used to treat respiratory illnesses and the number of registered deaths from those diseases.

The study, published in Nature Communications, examined over 2 billion records of sales data from March 2016 to March 2020, obtained from a prominent U.K. high street retailer. Led by Elizabeth Dolan and Dr. James Goulding at NUBS, the researchers utilized Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict deaths in 314 local authority areas in England.

The findings revealed that predictions based on shopping data from local areas were often more accurate than models relying solely on seasonal trends and societal factors such as poverty, housing quality, age, and population size. Moreover, the researchers were able to accurately predict deaths from respiratory diseases over 17 days in advance using the analyzed data.

The implications of this research are significant as it has the potential to identify individuals most at risk of death from respiratory conditions, provide support to the National Health Service (NHS), and shed light on communities and environmental factors that may exacerbate chronic lung conditions.

Elizabeth Dolan, a Ph.D. candidate at the Horizon CDT and a member of Nottingham University Business School, emphasized the importance of these findings, stating that the use of sales data, particularly the increased purchase of cough medicine, greatly enhances the accuracy of death predictions related to respiratory diseases. She stressed the need to make this practical data source more accessible for medical research.

By providing healthcare providers with a valuable tool to better manage services and plan more effectively, this research is particularly relevant given the current c, which further highlights the importance of addressing respiratory diseases alongside other health concerns.

In conclusion, this study demonstrates the potential for utilizing shopping habits as a means to predict respiratory disease deaths. With further development, this research could significantly contribute to improving healthcare provision, identifying vulnerable populations, and mitigating the impact of chronic lung conditions.


  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it