World Health 2.0

I'm very pleased to see that a paper I have been working on with colleagues was published this week in a very specialised health related journal: Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine. It's one of a suite of papers Maged Boulos and I have been working on with colleagues around the world over the last 3 years, and this one is particularly exciting because it shows how to harness Web 2.0 tools, mashups and aggregators to predict localised social trends such as flu epidemics. I have to admit I was inspired when I first heard of the concept of Techno-social Predictive Analysis (TPA), and even more intrigued when I saw how it worked. We wrote it around the time of the Swine Flu reports last year, and we hope the paper has some impact on how Web 2.0 tools can be used in new ways to benefit society as a whole. Have a read of the abstract, and then make your own mind up how much positive impact this approach might have on the future health and well-being of the planet...

Social Web mining and exploitation for serious applications: Technosocial Predictive Analytics and related technologies for public health, environmental and national security surveillance

Maged N. Kamel Boulos, Antonio P. Sanfilippo, Courtney D. Corley and Steve Wheeler

Abstract
This paper explores Technosocial Predictive Analytics (TPA) and related methods for Web “data mining” where users’ posts and queries are garnered from Social Web (“Web 2.0”) tools such as blogs, micro-blogging and social networking sites to form coherent representations of real-time health events. The paper includes a brief introduction to commonly used Social Web tools such as mashups and aggregators, and maps their exponential growth as an open architecture of participation for the masses and an emerging way to gain insight about people's collective health status of whole populations. Several health related tool examples are described and demonstrated as practical means through which health professionals might create clear location specific pictures of epidemiological data such as flu outbreaks.

Keywords: Social Web; Web 2.0; Disease surveillance; Technosocial Predictive Analytics
Other Boulos and Wheeler papers:
Kamel Boulos M N, and Wheeler S (2007) The emerging Web 2.0 social software: An enabling suite of sociable technologies in health and healthcare education. [Abstract] [Full Text] Health Information and Libraries Journal, 24 (1), 2-23.
Wheeler S and Kamel Boulos M N (2007) Mashing, Burning, Mixing and the Destructive Creativity of Web 2.0: Applications for Medical Education. [Abstract] [Full Text] Electronic Journal of Communication, Information and Innovation in Health, 1 (1), 27-33.
Kamel Boulos M N, Hetherington L and Wheeler S (2007) Second Life: The potential of 3D virtual worlds in medical and health education. [Abstract] [Full Text] Health Information and Libraries Journal. 24 (4), 233-245.
Kamel Boulos M N, Maramba, I and Wheeler S (2006) Wikis, blogs and podcasts: a new generation of Web-based tools for virtual collaborative clinical practice and education. [Abstract] [Full text] BMC Medical Education, 6 (41).

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Comments

Anne Marie said…
Steve
This looks really interesting. Do you have a link to where it is online?
AM
Steve Wheeler said…
This link should take you direct to the abstract: http://bit.ly/bEDlnY
Tony Brick said…
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