TWEETS AREN'T JUST BUZZWORDS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Twitter helps researchers see what kinds of health problems people are having in real time, research from Johns Hopkins led by Mark Dredze has shown. He says it also points to the public health problem of people using antibiotics to treat the flu.
DREDZE: Detecting such misperceptions allows us to craft messages back to the community to inform them about proper uses of medications. :09
Studying tweets enables researchers to capture what's happening healthwise right now.
DREDZE: There's a lot of interest in being able to detect events as they happen, so infection outbreaks or new diseases coming up we're able to detect those first on Twitter instead of waiting until people show up at the doctor's office, and medical professionals could potentially react much faster. :16
Dredze says public health officials can craft their own messaging to inform the public better, especially with regard to personal healthcare choices. At Johns Hopkins, I'm Elizabeth Tracey.