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Crowdsourced HealthHow What You Do on the Internet Will Improve Medicine$
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Elad Yom-Tov

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034500

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034500.001.0001

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Questions of Public Health

Questions of Public Health

(p.67) 4 Questions of Public Health
Crowdsourced Health

Elad Yom-Tov

The MIT Press

Epidemiological research is the cornerstone of public health. Frequently, it begins with a hypothesis, for which data is then collected and the hypothesis is proved or disproved. This chapter describes how people’s searches on commercial search engines can also be used to improve public health, not only because it provides useful data for studies that are based on a hypothesis, but because they can be used to create new hypotheses. This chapter details how algorithms can scour data to discover adverse effects of drugs, to identify possible risk factors for disease, and to rapidly alert health authorities when mass gatherings such as music festivals become the breeding ground for disease.

Keywords:   Epidemiology, Public health, Search engine, Adverse reactions, Medical drugs

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