Twitter Acts as Key Player in Population Health Management

Population health management is becoming crucial for hospitals, clinics, and data warehouses to explore. Ultimately, the industry needs more PCPs. The idea of a “primary care team” would include more physicians, nurses, and social workers in addition to new members to care for medical patients. These new members are actually preferred to be non-clinical workers who can provide support for patients, as well as do outside research.

Health systems can begin improving population health management by using personalized information in order to create individually customized health plans. This extra information can be used in real time to prevent foreseeable unfortunate events such as eating disorders, injuries, and other diseases. In order to obtain this information, data scientists and physicians especially are focused around big data. Providers and developers looking to better population health management have been turning to their tablets to access various social media sites for research.

Twitter is becoming an important tool for users to express their healthcare concerns and opinions, and data scientists are trying to use this to increase patient care strategies. Using keywords, time stamps, and location data from hundreds of thousands of tweets they are able to track various patterns that could correlate to patient diseases.

John Brownstein, a member of the Boston Children’s Informatics Program, is leading a study that will track social media postings in order to predict sleep deprivation and insomnia. With sleep disorders affecting more than half of the population in the United States, this under-studied aspect of patient health could be used to help millions of people.

For primary care teams, more members including clinical and non-clinical, are needed in order to increase the potential for population health management. With more data compiled and analyzed from tools such as Twitter analytics, patients should start seeing faster and more reliable healthcare results.