Developing a Social Media System for Biosurveillance


Much attention has been given recently to the purported ability of social media to provide early warning and/or situational awareness and event characterization during a biological event of national concern. The National Biosurveillance Integration Center's (NBIC) innovation project on Social Media Analysis seeks to demonstrate the viability of extracting relevant, health information from social media data, with the ultimate goal to establish an operational social media system for biological event surveillance. Early work in this project has focused on demonstrating the relevance of social media to the biosurveillance problem through data analysis and algorithm development. Preliminary assessments of a commercial social media product also yielded valuable insights for the system architecture required to support such an operational tool. In addition to continued analysis of data utility (algorithm development) and system architecture, future work will include development of a comprehensive concept of operations (CONOPS) for implementation and use of a social media capability within the NBIC.


Through ongoing and future projects we will examine the utility of social media data for biosurveillance, including machine learning approaches for algorithm development, as well as the system and organizational architectures required to implement an operational system.

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Event/Publication Date: 
December, 2013

August 22, 2018

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National Syndromic
Surveillance Program

The National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) is a collaboration among states and public health jurisdictions that contribute data to the BioSense Platform, public health practitioners who use local syndromic surveillance systems, Center for Disease Control and Prevention programs, other federal agencies, partner organizations, hospitals, healthcare professionals, and academic institutions.

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