How Tweets Can Predict and Prevent HIV Outbreaks

How Tweets Can Predict and Prevent HIV Outbreaks

New study finds direct link between HIV outbreaks and tweets with "risky" phrases.

Daniela Walker
  • 7 march 2014

Researchers at UCLA created an algorithm that enabled them to predict HIV breakouts based on people’s Twitter activity.

Published in the journal Preventive Medicine, the study collected 550 million tweets between May and December 2012, using an algorithm to pick out words that would suggest drug use or risky behaviors, such as  “sex” or “get high.” These tweets were then plotted on a map and compared to incidences of HIV-related cases. They found a high proportion of these tweets had incidences in areas with reported HIV activity.

Sean Young, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and co-director of the Center for Digital Behavior at UCLA, said in a press release:

Ultimately, these methods suggest that we can use ‘big data’ from social media for remote monitoring and surveillance of HIV risk behaviors and potential outbreaks. While similar algorithms have been used to predict influenza outbreaks, this is the first to suggest that Twitter can be used to predict people’s health-related behaviors and as a method for monitoring HIV risk behaviors and drug use.

The self-admitted weakness of the study is that the HIV data used was from 2009 and that more frequently updated data would be needed to make proper predictions. It shows the possibility of real-time predictions of possible HIV outbreaks, leading to preventative measures being taken.

Source: UCLA Newsroom /Mashable

Image: Mashable



Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology Yesterday

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Sports Debrief

See All
Retail Yesterday

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

Lucas Neumann

Fututre of Work, Work & Business, Design

Travel Yesterday

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment Yesterday

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI Yesterday

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 20, 2016

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs Yesterday

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials Yesterday

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food Yesterday

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising Yesterday

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Work Yesterday

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail Yesterday

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children Yesterday

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants Yesterday

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology Yesterday

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

No search results found.