The Golden Thread

Twitter Used to Predict Flu Outbreaks
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Author:  Sky [ Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:41 am ]
Post subject:  Twitter Used to Predict Flu Outbreaks

Twitter Used to Predict Flu Outbreaks

ScienceDaily (Sep. 29, 2010) — Keeping track of disease trends such as influenza outbreaks has the potential to be far quicker and less costly by monitoring a social network program such as Twitter than following the traditional methods of disease surveillance, according to a computer science expert at Southeastern Louisiana University.

A process called syndromic surveillance uses collected health-related data to alert health officials to the probability of an outbreak of disease, typically influenza or other contagious diseases. The technique involves collecting data from hospitals, clinics and other sources, a labor-intensive and time consuming approach. By monitoring a social network such as Twitter, researchers can capture comments from people with the flu who are sending out status messages.

"A micro-blogging service such as Twitter is a promising new data source for Internet-based surveillance because of the volume of messages, their frequency and public availability," said Aron Culotta, assistant professor of computer science. "This approach is much cheaper and faster than having thousands of hospitals and health care providers fill out forms each week.


Twitter seems to becoming useful for much innovation.

In South Africa - it is used for PIGSPOTTING! This alerts motorists on road blocks and impromptu road speed traps!!! Just to clarify - PIG = Police in Gear, so as to get the wrong impression out there!!!

It has caused a furore here with the law trying to convict the originator, but they have no legal reason to charge him on statute!

:whistle :roflmao :crylaugh

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