Facebook Disease Prevention Maps Take on Health Epidemics

by Larry Emmott on May 23, 2019

in Future Tech,Social Media

From Fortune:

Facebook wants to help fight infectious diseases like measles by introducing maps that health organizations can use to prevent and respond to outbreaks.

The disease prevention maps, which debuted Monday, provide detailed information such as population density, the movement of people in real time, and network connectivity across regions. The point is to give researchers and health groups information to get ahead of epidemics and more effectively reach vulnerable communities.

Source: Facebook Disease Prevention Maps Take on Health Epidemics | Fortune

I like this for several reasons. It is a very good example of the use of big data to combat disease and improve the human condition. Facebook did not seek out data on infectious disease however the data they gather can be analysed and presented in a way that can be helpful in controlling disease.

Facebook gathers all this data as a byproduct of providing a service in the form of a social media platform. If the CDC or some other agency tried to gather the data on purpose, independently they would need to spend a great deal of money and still simply could not do it. As it is the data is there at very low cost, someone just needs to extract it.

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