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Researchers from the Pennsylvania School of Medicine looked at Facebook posts to see if the language there could predict medical conditions that ended up on patient records.

Researchers found that Facebook language was able to predict 21 medical conditions “beyond chance.” Of those, 18 conditions were best predicted using combination of demographic data, as well as Facebook post language. Scientists also discovered that 10 of those conditions were better predicted by Facebook language than by standard demographics including age, race and gender.

This research, conducted by independent academics, shows that social posts contain valuable information about patient health however accessing and using this data may be problematic from a privacy standpoint.



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