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Utility of Social Media in Public Health

Social media has become a major part of public health emergency

Welcome to our first Fusion Round Table campaign. To start things off we wanted to focus on a topic that seems pretty relevant in the wake of our Sandy response - social media. Social media has become a major part of public health emergency management. Recently, during our response to Sandy, Fusion used Twitter to help access real-time on-the-ground information. We did this through a series of in-depth Boolean searches ...more »

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Utility of Social Media in Public Health

Training Ideas

Maybe a good way to help train social media monitors for large scale events is to use smaller prior notice events that have a defined start and end time. For example, the Inauguration. A record number of tweets were sent so by Twitter standards it was a large event. But, it was short term with plenty of notice. You could give trainees specific things to look for in the midst of those inauguration tweets to help them learn ...more »

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Innovations in Data Sharing

Google Maps Engine lite as an alternative to GIS

Google Maps now has a free feature to create custom maps. Maps Engine has been available for years for businesses, but now with Maps Engine Lite, more people might be able to access the tool. Maps Engine Lite allows users to upload small spreadsheets with locations and visualize them on a map. They can also manually tag and draw directly on the map as well as create layers. Might be a good alternative for organizations ...more »

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Innovations in Data Sharing

Guidelines for sharing data

Does HHS have established guidelines for sharing data? It seems everyone regards their data as close-hold even though most of what we work with is not sensitive. More data sharing could be done with partners and the public during responses but who is responsible for deciding which data can be shared? Which HHS departments are leading the push for sharing more data?

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Utility of Social Media in Public Health

Training for gathering social media data during disasters

With social media becoming a bigger part of getting more timely information during a disaster or event it makes sense to try to incorporate it into training exercises. I think training specifically for gathering social media information during response may be difficult. In general, how could you practice for something like that when the volume of information will vary for each event and can't easily be replicated or imitated? ...more »

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Utility of Social Media in Public Health

Crowdsourcing, Prediction Markets, and other social aggregatorsd

There have been several implementations of prediction or information markets, some more successful than others (the Iowa Election Market vs. the defunct Policy Analysis Market, for example). I remain intrigued with the potential utility of these types of tools for pre-incident assessment. A "market" for infectious disease experts to "predict" the severity of the next flu season or the efficiacy of the vaccine, for example. ...more »

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Utility of Social Media in Public Health

Linkage between Epidemiology, Intel Fusion & Preparedness

With nothing but time to be gained and lives to be saved, it seems the nexus between passive surveillance, outbreak investigation, PH preparedness & response functions remain distant cousins in many jurisdictions (although this seems to be beginning to change in some). Wouldn't it be great if PHEP capabilities, HPP capabilities, and cooperative agreement performance metrics all required these players to train/exercise ...more »

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Utility of Social Media in Public Health

Social Media for Missing People

Following the recent tornado that devastated Moore, OK, family members still searching for loved ones, or residents that have information on missing people have been encouraged by local news organizations to use the hashtags #OKMissing and #OKPets for animals to post information about their missing loved ones. News agencies were careful to note that this is not meant to replace filing an official missing person report, ...more »

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Utility of Social Media in Public Health

Twitter Utility in Disasters

Given the recent events in Boston and Texas, seems that people where looking to social media sites like Twitter and Youtube to get rapid updates about the incident as it was happening. Here's a piece from the Guardian about the utility of Twitter in the first minutes vs the first hours:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/16/boston-marathon-explosions-reveal-twitter

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Tools and technologies for capturing and visualizing public data for localized S.A.

Tools for Local Situational Awareness

With the annual APHA conference still fresh in peoples minds, most of us are in the mindset of bringing promising public health practices to the local level. We at the ASPR Fusion Roundtable believe this is an important topic to explore further. How can publically available data be accessed and made useful for local situational awareness? In 2012, ASPR hosted a challenge competition aimed at making social media a useful ...more »

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Utility of Social Media in Public Health

Digital Disease Detection Conference

As we have been discussing over the past few months, internet technology has significantly impacted the field of public health surveillance and data not only produced by government agencies, but also through social networking sites, local news media, and crowdsourcing platforms. The Skoll Global Threats Fund and HealthMap are presenting the Digital Disease Detection Conference on September 18-20 in San Francisco this ...more »

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Innovations in Data Sharing

Challenges of Big Data

On the heels of last weekend's codefest this seems like an appropriate article. It provides some great background on the challenges of big data management and outlines some ways the city of Philadelphia has worked to overcome these challenges. Including: - A mandate to reuse public information, - A technologist who understands managerial, technological and cultural issues in government, and - A unique tech ...more »

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Innovations in Data Sharing

Big Data - Code Fest

This weekend there will be a health codefest hosted at Drexel University in Philadelphia. While the theme of the weekend is a little more broad: "Unlock the Power of Healthcare Big Data" it will be interesting to see if anything of use to our field comes out of it. Here's the url for more info: http://www.phillyhealthcodefest.com/ I love the concept of these codefests or hackathons. I think they can be a great problem ...more »

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