September 22, 2017

Twitter is used by many to share news, photos and what users had for dinner, but SPH Epidemiology and Biostatistics Assistant Professor Quynh Nguyen has used the platform to predict health outcomes too. 

She told Vice that believes that using a social media platform like Twitter, which updates faster than some news outlets, can help identify future infectious disease outbreaks and aid in disaster response. It could also provide an opportunity for evaluating the success of health interventions and preventing adverse health outcomes, she said.

"I think Twitter can be utilized to spot changes quickly, especially because Twitter is one of those platforms people turn to when major events happen to find out updates, sometimes even before they are broadcasted on the news," Dr. Nguyen said. "Other research teams not constructing small area summaries may use a week's, month's, or even day's worth of data."

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Quynh Nguyen
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PhD, Epidemiology