During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Lin used internet search data to offer timely and impactful insights. He correlated reduced searches for “handwashing” with increased virus transmission, a pivotal finding published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (Impact Factor = 15.1) with over 230 citations. This work not only gained attention from numerous domestic media outlets but also from international media sources, including Reuters.
To get higher temporal resolution and immediacy compared to traditional survey-based methods, Dr. Lin expanded his innovative approach, utilizing internet search keywords as a research method. He found that “insomnia” was the most sensitive indicator of global mental health impacts during the pandemic, publishing these findings in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (Impact Factor = 7.4). Additionally, he used open database records of mobile phone locations to quantify the psychological impact of stay-at-home restrictions in 45 countries over a year, publishing the comprehensive study in the Journal of Affective Disorders (Impact Factor = 6.6).
In addition, Dr. Lin tracked changes in Taiwanese people’s willingness to get vaccinated during the pandemic, showcasing his interdisciplinary expertise at the International Congress on Infectious Diseases. His work has received wide recognition across various fields for his innovative methods in using digital footprints for real-time population health behavior research during the pandemic.