Table 3

Description of the statistical methods used to analyse big data in RMDs and in other medical fields

RMDsOther medical fields
General description
AI only, N (%)30 (55)35 (63)
Traditional statistics only N (%)10 (18)8 (15)
Both AI and traditional methods N (%)15 (27)12 (22)
AI methods
AI articles, N (%) 45 (82) 47 (85)
AI methods
 Machine learning, N4447
 Other, N20
Mention of supervision, N 4 18
 Supervised414
 Unsupervised07
 Semi-supervised01
 Not reported4129
Types of machine learning method, N
 Not specified43
 Artificial Neural Networks2024
Deep Learning 5 13
 Support Vector Machine108
 Random Forests713
 Natural Language Processing72
 k-Nearest Neighbors36
 Bayesian models35
Traditional methods
Traditional statistics, N (%) 25 (45) 20 (36)
 Regression methods, N1115
 Other methods, N1621
  • Supervised learning refers to the machine learning task of learning a function that maps an input to an output based on example input–output pairs, and unsupervised learning to the ability to learn without a ‘teacher’.

  • Of note, one article in RMDs used both machine learning and another AI method (heuristic).

  • AI, artificial intelligence.