Can social networks help us understand health behavior ? A study from Altimetrik


Of late social media data is being used in lots of meaningful ways. Though the movement started as one propagated by the youth, social media has found a permanent place in the board room of businesses and in the R & D labs of many innovation centers.


Recently I read a paper by one of the research analysts at Altimetrik, where the author Namrata Mishra discusses an algorithm that can be used to analyse the social network of a local area and give an assessment of the health standards of the region.

For example analyzing the text and pictures shared my members of a particular geographic area, the author claims we can asses the levels of alcohol use for example in the community. This will give us an idea of the current health situation in the region.

The author writes that a similar approach was used in Nigeria while approaching the vaccines required by the community while allocating research budgets. So can the algorithm tell use the best location to set up a bar in order to minimize the health effect on the community? I can only imagine….

On a serious note the algorithm will also give is an idea as to who is visiting a healthcare facility and for what reason. This is provided someone in the network is talking about the same. This will help us to set up healthcare facilities in a given region based on the current usage. Also Health plans may devise specific products after analyzing the health patterns of the community.

For more on the paper and its findings please click this link




Dr. Vikram Venkateswaran

Management Thinker, Marketer, Healthcare Professional Communicator and Ideation exponent

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