Twitter predicts asthma emergency visits


20 Apr 2015

By looking at twitter posts and air quality information researchers were able to predict with 75% accuracy how many asthma-related emergency room visits a hospital can expect on a given day.

The research highlights the important role that big data, including streams from social media and environmental sensors, could play in addressing health challenges, the researchers from the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation in Dallas said.

They hope their findings will help them create similar predictive models for emergency room visits related to other chronic conditions.

“You can get a lot of interesting insights from social media that you can’t from electronic health records,” they said.

“You only go to the doctor once in a while, and you don’t always tell your doctor how much you’ve been exercising or what you’ve been eating. But people share that information all the time on social media. We think that prediction models like this can be very useful, if we can combine various types of data, to address chronic diseases.”

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