SICKWEATHER RELEASES WHITE PAPER ON THE VIABILITY OF SOCIAL MEDIA AS A PUBLIC SURVEILLANCE TOOL
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Sickweather, the leading sickness forecasting and mapping tool recently named a Tech Crunch best from 500 Startups, has released a new white paper titled "Social Media as a Public Health Surveillance Tool: Evidence and Prospects." This study outlines challenges and opportunities in using social media for public health surveillance based on a review of more than 100 articles on the topic.
"Social media is a very relevant tool for public health surveillance, and is especially pertinent in light of the emergence of globalized and growing epidemics for which there is no known cure," said Graham Dodge, co-founder and CEO of Sickweather. "The research done by Sickweather's public health policy consultant, Doctor of Public Health Ebele Mogo, shows that there is considerable evidence on the effectiveness of social media as a public health surveillance tool because of its accuracy, timeliness and cost effectiveness in tracking population health sentiments, behaviors, outcomes and emergencies."
Sickweather's illness forecast reflects this evidence as it is based on a combination of social listening through its patent-pending social media monitoring algorithm; crowdsourcing; population, sales and clinical data; extensive archived data to predict the rate of illness up to 15 weeks in advance with 91% accuracy.
The study highlights key opportunities for the use of social media in public health surveillance including:
- Strengthening spatiotemporal forecasting models
- Building infrastructure capacity for big data
- The potential social media an intervention tool
- Strengthening data mining and data validation
- Strengthening lexicon development and models for text mining & classification
- Integrating social media data with traditional public surveillance infrastructure
"In the future I'm confident that we will see social media used not only as a public health surveillance tool, but also in combination with other tools to identify health outcomes and for delivering interventions," said Dodge. "At the same time there are some challenges that must be addressed including eliminating the noise from surveillance data, identifying potential ethical issues regarding privacy and building an infrastructural capacity in health institutions for big data. Sickweather continues to make tremendous progress to address these challenges."
As Sickweather updates its app and makes advancements with its application programming interface (API), the company is addressing these challenges and exploring how to leverage the opportunities outlined in the white paper. The full whitepaper can be downloaded at http://sick.io/whitepaper.
Just like a Doppler radar scans the sky for indicators of bad weather, Sickweather scans social networks for indicators of illness, allowing you to check for the chance of sickness as easily as you check for the chance of rain. Sickweather's illness forecast is based on a combination of social listening through its patent-pending social media monitoring algorithm; crowdsourcing; population, sales and clinical data; extensive archived data to predict the rate of illness up to 15 weeks in advance with 91% accuracy. These predictions are available via the Sickweather app as well as its application programming interface (API) and Sickweather Pro SaaS dashboard used by developers, data scientists and epidemiologists across several industries. For more information visit Sickweather.com.
Media Contact: Kristin Deuber, Public Relations Consultant, (614) 975-4186, firstname.lastname@example.org
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