Algorithm Can Predict When You'll Fall Ill Before Symptoms Occur
By analyzing tweets tagged with GPS location data, researchers were able to track the spread of flu symptoms across space and time, accurately predicting when people would fall ill.
What's the Latest Development?
By feeding 630,000 New York City residents' 4.4 million tweets into an algorithm, researchers at the University of Rochester were able to predict when healthy people would fall ill with about 90 per cent accuracy out to eight days in the future. Importantly, each tweet the team analyzed was tagged with GPS location data. That allowed researchers to track the spread of flu symptoms across space and time, enabling them to predict who would contract the flu even before any symptoms were exhibited. The algorithm was taught the difference between tweets by healthy people, who might say something like 'I am so sick of this traffic!', and someone who is actually sick and showing signs of the flu.
What's the Big Idea?
Data from the analysis also showed that people who go to the gym regularly are moderately less likely to get sick and that people with low socioeconomic status are much more likely to become ill. The research shows the power of Big Data to positively influence our lives."Such information could one day be used to power a smartphone app that warns you when you've entered a public place with a high incidence of flu. Or after a big day out, it might buzz you with a message to say you are at high risk of getting sick over the next few days." The system would be limited to helping people who tweet reliably about their symptoms.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
Carl Sagan liked to smoke weed. His essay on why is fascinating.
- Carl Sagan was a life long marijuana user and closeted advocate of legalization.
- He once wrote an anonymous essay on the effects it had on his life and why he felt it should be legalized.
- His insights will be vital as many societies begin to legalize marijuana.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.