People are inherently social – in all walks and aspects of our lives. This includes patients and patient advocates and their participation in healthcare. Individuals, whether they meet at a conference or have built bonds based on their shared experiences with their disease and treatments, are connected like Legos.
There are many social networks where patients interact online. As we examine below, data scientists and researchers are using publicly available posts on Twitter in new ways.
Sick? Tweet about it!
For those who aren’t feeling well, they often turn to their mobile phone or computer and tweet about being under the weather. Researchers at Brigham Young University are paying attention and have parsed tweets and their location data to help entities tracking disease find out where flu symptoms are popping up and where the disease might be headed next. In addition, folks at MappyHealth have built out the same concept to include the trending of a variety of diseases in different regions of the world!
By utilizing Twitter data and location, those involved in disease management can monitor, in real-time, the current state of an outbreak and thereby develop intervention steps to better manage an epidemic – influenza in this case.
Twitter as a discovery tool
Twitter might be the perfect medium for finding conversations amongst patients. Here’s why: More…