Can Twitter and social media track flu epidemics and other health issues?

Can Twitter and social media track flu epidemics and other public health issues - Telemedicine, TeleCare and TeleHealth InformationWith people tweeting hundreds of millions of times a day, Twitter has a constant stream of information about their daily activities, their hopes, dreams and complaints about their health. For epidemiologists and public health officials, it’s a potential gold mine of data for keeping track where disease is breaking out and how it spreads, as well as how best to help — but only if they can figure out how to find the useful signal amid all that noise.

“The question is: How do you take these billions of messages, find the useful information and get it to people who can respond?” says Mark Dredze, an assistant professor of computer sciences at Johns Hopkins University, who studies computational linguistics. ===> Continue Reading

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