Updated on 31 October 2014
The study said that through social media HIV trends could be mapped and the disease could be controlled (Photo Courtesy:freedigitalphotos.net)
Singapore: Recent findings published in the journal 'Trends in Microbiology' reveal that in addition to many potential healthcare benefits, social media could also be used an effective tool to curb deadly diseases like HIV and Ebola. Earlier government organizations and researchers had effectively used social media platforms to arrest and monitor the spread of infectious epidemics like influenza, dengue, malaria etc.
Study author, Mr Sean Young, Center for Digital Behavior, University of California, said in a news release, "We know that mining social media will have huge potential benefits for many areas of medicine in the future, but we're still in the early stages of testing how powerful these technologies will be."
Mr Young added that insights gleaned from social media could be used to help governments, public health departments, hospitals and caretakers monitor people's health behaviors and to know where, when, and how we might be able to prevent HIV transmission.
The study also found that through social media HIV trends could be mapped and thus the disease can be controlled to a large extent. Mr Young added that social media is a platform where people are willing to share freely and with the right tool kits these data can be collected and used for disease prevention.
Although there are many privacy concerns regarding data integrity and social stigma associated with the use of this platform, Mr Young expressed hope stating that people had already begun to accept such uses of social media and many organizations and corporations are also looking to adequately use this tool to reap huge profits.