Social Mediome

Can social media activity illuminate details about an individual’s current health status and future outcomes?

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Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have more than 2 billion users worldwide.  It is common that individuals share information daily on such platforms in the form of posts, photos, ‘likes’, and check-ins – information that can provide a detailed narrative about their day-to-day activities and behaviors.

Our team is studying the digital breadcrumbs that make up a user’s “Social Mediome” in an effort to determine if social media activity can illuminate details about an individual’s current health status and future outcomes.  Similar to how a genome can inform potential risk factors, our hypothesis is that an individual’s Social Mediome can elucidate important insights about their health.

To test this hypothesis, we’ve created the world’s first Social Mediome database – a collection of social media language linked to electronic health record data.  Currently, we have more than 5,500 contributors and upwards of 50 million data points.  

Leveraging the database, our team of experts conducts natural language analyses to map correlations and identify trends.  We believe that understanding such relationships can potentially help us determine new ways to predict, measure and intervene in multiple disease profiles such as diabetes, heart disease and mental health in the future.  Ultimately, our goal is to provide both patients and doctors with a deeper understanding of how one’s social media activity can be used as a diagnostic and descriptive tool.