CBC: Researchers predict ‘vaccine scares’ using Google and Twitter trends

CBC: Researchers predict ‘vaccine scares’ using Google and Twitter trends. “What do Google searches and tweets tell us about disease outbreaks? As it turns out, analyzing search and tweet trends could give warning signs for when a disease outbreak may happen due to reduced vaccinations. An international team of researchers analyzed searches and tweets related to measles and the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine using artificial intelligence and a mathematical model, and detected warning signs of a ‘tipping point’ two years before the Disneyland outbreak happened.”

Engadget: Google search quiz can help diagnose PTSD

Engadget: Google search quiz can help diagnose PTSD. “Google is continuing its efforts to help you improve your mental health. Search for ‘posttraumatic stress disorder’ or related keywords on your phone and you’ll now have the option of taking a clinically validated questionnaire that can screen for signs of PTSD. This won’t provide a definitive answer (Google stresses the importance of an in-person diagnosis), but it can give you useful knowledge to take to your doctor.”

Newswise: New UCI Study Reveals How Social Media Can Help People Lose Weight

Newswise: New UCI Study Reveals How Social Media Can Help People Lose Weight. “Sharing the triumphs and tribulations of your weight loss journey with other members of an online virtual support community plays an important role in achieving success, according to a new study from the University of California, Irvine. Entitled ‘Weight Loss Through Virtual Support Communities: A Role for Identity-based Motivation in Public Commitment,’ the study examines the role of virtual communities and public commitment in setting and reaching weight loss goals.”

Quartz: China launched a toilet-finding platform to help identify 330,000 public toilets

Quartz: China launched a toilet-finding platform to help identify 330,000 public toilets. “To mark World Toilet Day, which this year fell on Sunday (Nov.19), China unveiled a similar platform, the ‘National Public Toilet Cloud.’ It’s from China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, and is available via an app and a WeChat public account, a rough analog to a business’s Facebook page. The ministry aggregated information about nearly 330,000 national public toilets across the country, state news agency Xinhua (link in Chinese) said in a report, noting that ‘restrooms can reflect a country’s civilization level.'”

University of Florida: UF studies explore how public health professionals use Twitter for professional development, public education

University of Florida: UF studies explore how public health professionals use Twitter for professional development, public education. “Public health practitioners are actively using Twitter as a platform for networking and development, allowing them to overcome some barriers to professional growth, such as reduced staffing, according to research by a University of Florida team. Public health professionals are also frequently using personal Twitter accounts to disseminate health information to the public.”

Stanford Scope: Abuzz aims to combat mosquito-spread diseases using cellphones

Stanford Scope: Abuzz aims to combat mosquito-spread diseases using cellphones. “Itching to help combat the scourge of mosquito-borne diseases? I’ve got just the thing: Abuzz. The crowd-sourced project birthed in the lab of Stanford’s Manu Prakash, PhD, is aiming to map the prevalence of mosquitos worldwide using audio recorded by cellphones. Participation is simple: Spot a mosquito, grab your phone — even an old flip one will do — and point the microphone at it.”

News-Bulletin: New Mexico Department of Health launches new website linking people with vaccine providers

News-Bulletin: New Mexico Department of Health launches new website linking people with vaccine providers. “Today, the New Mexico Department of Health Immunization Program announced the launch of two new interactive maps to help residents find a vaccination provider nearest them. One map is created specifically to help parents of children search for a Vaccines For Children provider. The other will assist uninsured adults to link to a nearby healthcare provider that offers immunizations for New Mexicans without medical insurance.”