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Facebook posts could be used to predict diabetes

Discussion in 'Diabetes News' started by DCUK NewsBot, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. DCUK NewsBot

    DCUK NewsBot · Well-Known Member

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    Insights gleaned from posts on Facebook could reveal whether people have conditions including diabetes, according to an American study. Researchers examined the language used on the platform by almost 1,000 people and found that some key words could be better at identifying certain health conditions compared with sociodemographic information. Diabetes is one of the conditions that could be predicted (the researchers did not specify whether this was type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes), as well as anxiety, psychosis and depression. The team from Penn Medicine and Stony Brook University believe its findings could eventually lead to new applications for medicine-harnessing artificial intelligence. They say language used on the social media platform could one day be monitored, if consent was gained, just like physical conditions. "This work is early, but our hope is that the insights gleaned from these posts could be used to better inform patients and providers about their health," said Dr Raina Merchant, who is the director of Penn Medicine's Center for Digital Health and led the study. "As social media posts are often about someone's lifestyle choices and experiences or how they're feeling, this information could provide additional information about disease management and exacerbation." A special automated data collection technique was used, enabling the team to examine every Facebook post of each participants whose health records were also analysed. A total of 21 conditions were looked into, with the results indicating that every condition was predicted by Facebook activity. The findings also revealed Facebook data was better at predicting 10 of the conditions compared to demographic information. According to the results, some of the language was obvious, with 'drink' and 'bottle' linked to alcohol abuse, but other words were not so obviously linked to a health condition. An example being the fact that people using the words 'God' and 'pray' were 15 times more likely to have diabetes, compared with users who used these terms the least. The research was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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  2. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Cui bono? The health industry. that's who. And besides the spying nature of this I am an atheist so would not use the terms God and Pray and yet...
     
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  3. Rokaab

    Rokaab Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure I had never used the words God or Pray before I was diagnosed - mind you I'm not sure I was saying much at the age of 2 :)
     
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  4. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Just more targetted advertising if you ask me. Mind you, I have seen toddlers use tech... sometimes better than I can!
     
  5. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    I've long had a suspicion that everyone who posts in these forums is suffering or has suffered with blood sugar problems.

    #just sayin'
     
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  6. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    One friend constantly saying drinking and presecco bottle but I'm sure she's not an alcoholic, but I'm no expert.
     
  7. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    7.3 BG and don't use FB. Sounds like one of those ridiculous correlations e.g. you are more likely to get divorced if you are a Gemini and live in Surrey or more at risk of drowning if you eat ice cream.
    Cannot work out the causal link between god bothering and diabetes though.
    I watch a lot of YouTube though and have noticed that I keep being targetted for ShapeWear garments..how do they know?
     
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  8. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    I keep getting targetted by Christian evangelists because I once viewed a Dawkins video. It makes no sense. I left FB a few years ago, it just got daft.
     
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  9. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Not had that one although I too watch people from the 'intellectual dark web' such as Richard Dawkins and new atheists e..g Sam Harris. Perhaps also watching Jordan Peterson has balanced out the equation?
     
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  10. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Yeh why bother testing insulin levels when a computer can read facebook posts instead...
     
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