Introduction: The Urologic Disease in America project found the prevalence of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) grew over time (24.5% in 2004 to 28% in 2013 – a 14.3% increase). Given the introduction of minimally-invasive office-based BPH procedures over the last decade, it is unknown how public interest in such newer treatments has evolved. This study assessed how interest in Rezum and Urolift has varied over time relative to that in TURP, according to population-level web search patterns.
Methods: Publicly available population-level Google search patterns (http://google.com/trends) were used to compare internet queries for “TURP”, “Rezum” and “Urolift” in the United States over the last 15 years (the full time period available on Google Trends) and since FDA approval of each new BPH therapy in 2015 and 2013, respectively. Interest in each therapy was further examined at both the state and metropolitan area levels. Finally, related queries to each search term were assessed to identify ‘how’ patients seek BPH information on the internet. All data was analyzed relative to the most frequently searched term for the given queries, over the time period of interest; this data point was set at a value of 100.
Results: Along with the Urologic Disease in America findings of BPH prevalence, search queries of “TURP” increased 31% from 2004 to 2019. Since 2013, interest in UroLift has steadily increased 33-fold, corresponding to a 1.4% up to 46.7% increase, relative to TURP, since its FDA approval. Similarly, interest in Rezum increased 21-fold since its 2015 FDA approval – a 0.92% up to 19.3% increase, relative to TURP. There were no consistently identified regions of the United States with greater interest in these BPH therapies; similarly, when stratified by metropolitan areas, no clear pattern emerged.
Conclusions: Although Rezum and Urolift are gaining popularity, each only garners one-fifth to one-half of the queries TURP does. Interest in all BPH therapies has increased over time, in line with the rising prevalence of the condition, with Urolift approximately 2.5-times more searched that Rezum after being FDA approved 2 years prior. This approach to analyze search terms may help uncover the unmeasured burden of disease on patients who have not yet seen a physician, as well as gauge the impact of direct to consumer medical marketing. Source of