Government Using Social Media to Track Health Behaviors

November 24, 2013
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The National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world’s largest biomedical library is now collecting information from social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook with the hope of using that data to study changes in health behavior.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world’s largest biomedical library is now collecting information from social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook with the hope of using that data to study changes in health behavior.

What makes the NLM effective and valuable is its ability to evaluate and adjust how its databases and other resources are used. Social media will now become another component that will help with that.

By examining tweets and comments, NLM will be able to gain insights that can be used as teaching tools and change-agents for health-relevant behavior. They will also be able to compare data between social media sites and other health-related websites such as WedMD and the MayoClinic.

A big data revolution is under way in healthcare and whether you like it or not, social media can have more impact than you think. Social media is becoming an important piece of the big data puzzle and will likely help change the healthcare landscape.