New Scientist: Global cancer scheme lets people share data across the world. “People with cancer will soon be able to donate their medical information to a global database aimed at discovering new treatments…. When the database becomes fully functional later this year, any individual with cancer will have access to a document – the ‘Universal Patient Consent Form’ – that will allow them to make their medical and genetic data freely accessible to all cancer researchers.”
Washington Blade: Senate Dems object to removal of LGBT health data from gov’t websites. “A group of 17 Senate Democrats led by Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) have expressed ‘serious concerns’ with the Trump administration about the removal of LGBT health data from government websites and are calling for the restoration of the information. In a letter to the White House dated April 12, the lawmakers decried the recently reported removal of information on LGBT health data from the Department of Health & Human Services website for the Office of Women’s Health as well as and the removal of LGBT population-based data reports from the Federal Committee of Statistical Methodology website for the Office of Management & Budget.”
UCLA: UCLA researchers use search engines, social media to predict syphilis trends. “Two studies from the UCLA-based University of California Institute for Prediction Technology, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, found an association between certain risk-related terms that Google and Twitter users researched or tweeted about and subsequent syphilis trends that were reported to the CDC. The researchers were able to pinpoint these cases at state or county levels, depending on the platform used.”
CNBC: Facebook sent a doctor on a secret mission to ask hospitals to share patient data. “Facebook has asked several major U.S. hospitals to share anonymized data about their patients, such as illnesses and prescription info, for a proposed research project. Facebook was intending to match it up with user data it had collected, and help the hospitals figure out which patients might need special care or treatment.”
Public News Service: New Website Explores Missouri’s Health by Neighborhood. “A new state website has launched, and Missourians can use it to find out about health issues in their area because it narrows them down to specific communities across the state. [The site] is a joint effort of the Missouri Hospital Association and University of Missouri Extension Center that allows anyone to look up health issues, even by ZIP Code.”
AAFP: New Online Tool Lets FPs Review Data on Disease Outbreaks . “The CDC has unveiled a new online data tool(wwwn.cdc.gov) that allows users to search through almost two decades of information collected on various types of enteric disease outbreaks in the United States. The so-called NORS Dashboard, launched March 12, provides family physicians and other interested parties with expanded access to disease outbreak data from the National Outbreak Reporting System.” The lead paragraph doesn’t make it clear, but it appears that the information system is available to everybody.
State Tech Magazine: Digital Data Helps Public Health Departments Keep Tabs on, Tackle the Flu. “No one needs a reminder that this flu season was one of the worst in recent years. Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control suggests it may have been worse than the 2009 season, when the swine flu pandemic strain swept the country. The good news, however, is that digital data is helping researchers and public health organizations provide more timely predictions about the spread of the flu and assessments of seasons in progress.”