Thursday, 5 May 2011

Twitter to become instrumental in "Disease Forecasts"

McCann Healthcare Worldwide have developed an ingenious graphical mapping system for tracking Twitter user's posts relating to their health. In theory, the obscurely named "Kazemill" program's key words algorithm searches the social networking site, tracks the location of the pertinent posts, and then draws up a map showing areas effected by a variety of ailments; colour coded depending on symptoms the user is suffering from (orange for an itchy throat, red for a fever etc).

As well as being a hypochondriac's dream, the opportunities this presents for targeted marketing of medicinal goods is phenomenal. 

The first company to be using the system, Japanese pharmaceutical company SSP, have been quoted as saying "Twitter and social marketing makes perfect sense when tackling illness and disease, more so with diseases that are seasonal and recurring,"

This system could be used in the future to develop trend-based forecasts on the health of the populace worldwide, and may well become a far more powerful tool than anticipated by it's designers.

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