How to Apply Geo-targeted Social Media Analytics in Public Health Research

Authors: Ming-Hsiang Tsou*, San Diego State University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Medical and Health Geography, Cyberinfrastructure
Keywords: Public Health, Disease Outbreaks, Social Media, Health Communication, Cancer Prevention
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Marriott Ballroom Salon 1, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Public health researchers can apply geo-targeted social media analytics in various domains, including 1). monitoring disease outbreaks, 2). identifying health communication issues for intervention, and 3). evaluating effectiveness of health-related communication campaigns. This paper will illustrate some successful case studies and their research challenges and opportunities. Accurate information about the intensity and geographic distribution of infectious diseases (flu or hepatitis A virus), health-related behaviors (e-cigarette or physic activities), and cancer incidents/treatments, can allow public health officials to allocate resources effectively and respond appropriately in order to combat these health threats. Combing keyword-based and geo-targeted search methods, the multi-scale analysis of social media texts and photos can reveal complex diffusion processes of diseases, health behaviors, health communication, and collective attitudes within cities. With geo-targeted social media analytics, researchers and health practitioners may have a novel way to gain greater understanding of the environments in which target populations dwell, and the most effective strategies for creating tailored health interventions or improving cancer prevention and control efforts.

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