Collaborating Authors

"Is This an STD? Please Help!": Online Information Seeking for Sexually Transmitted Diseases on Reddit

AAAI Conferences

Increasing incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) has prompted the public health and technology communities to innovate new measures to understand how individuals use Internet resources to attain relevant information, particularly for sensitive or stigmatized conditions. The purpose of this study is to examine recent health information seeking and needs of the r/STD community, a subreddit focused exclusively on STDs. We found that the majority of posts crowdsource information about intermediate, non-reportable STDs such as human papillomavirus (HPV). Crowdsourced information in this community focused on symptoms, treatment, as well as the social and emotional aspects of sexual health such as fear of misdiagnosis. From our analysis, it is clear that online communities focused on discussion of health symptoms have the ripe potential to influence information-seeking behavior and consumer action.

Mental Health Discourse on reddit: Self-Disclosure, Social Support, and Anonymity

AAAI Conferences

Social media is continually emerging as a platform of information exchange around health challenges. We study mental health discourse on the popular social media:reddit. Building on findings about health information seeking and sharing practices in online forums, and social media like Twitter, we address three research challenges. First, we present a characterization of self-disclosure inmental illness communities on reddit. We observe individuals discussing a variety of concerns ranging from the daily grind to specific queries about diagnosis and treatment. Second, we build a statistical model to examine the factors that drive social support on mental health reddit communities. We also develop language models to characterize mental health social support, which are observed to bear emotional, informational, instrumental, and prescriptive information. Finally, we study disinhibition in the light of the dissociative anonymity that reddit’s throwaway accounts provide. Apart from promoting open conversations,such anonymity surprisingly is found to gather feedback that is more involving and emotionally engaging. Our findings reveal, for the first time, the kind of unique information needs that a social media like reddit might be fulfilling when it comes to a stigmatic illness. They also expand our understanding of the role of the social web in behavioral therapy.

Google turns pocket doctor: Now symptom searches will help diagnose what's wrong


Google is rolling out a new way of presenting the results of symptom searches in its mobile app. Google has worked with doctors to develop a new feature for its Search app that will display a summary of related conditions when you search for symptoms online. If you've ever been freaked out by possible conditions when searching Google for symptoms, like a headache or rash, you're not alone. Google notes that about one percent of searches on Google are symptom-related but it's hard to navigate the results, which often "lead people from mild symptoms to scary and unlikely conditions". To help people avoid the anxiety caused by possibly irrelevant information, Google is rolling out a new format for results when people search for symptoms in the Google Search app on a smartphone.

BraineHealth's Virtual Doctor Diagnosio Using Deep Learning for Triage of Patients.


Dr. Diagnosio that uses deep learning, matures to a virtual doctor with the capability to make both differential diagnoses and to triage patients. Dr. Diagnosio is now able to triage patients based on a questionnaire on the patient symptoms progression. The Swedish company BraineHealth recently launched Dr. Diagnosio – a virtual doctor that proposes diagnoses from vital patient data such as age, gender and patient symptoms. Dr. Diagnosio uses machine-learning methods to match the most relevant diagnoses based on a validated database. The virtual doctor Diagnosio has now extended its capabilities by asking the patient additional essential questions about how the symptoms are developing, current discomfort, medication, medical condition and more.

World--s First AI Health Guidance App in Swahili Launched by Ada Health


The first artificial intelligence-based (--AI--) symptom-assessment application to be made available in Swahili has been launched today, unlocking access to health information and advice for more than 100 million people seeking healthcare in East Africa.-- The app, developed by Ada Health, combines a world-class medical knowledge database with intelligent reasoning technology to help users understand what might be causing their symptoms, as well as providing localized guidance about what they should do next. In doing so, the app aims to empower patients to make informed decisions about their own health, while also complementing and supporting existing healthcare services, doctors and clinics.-- Globally, four billion people - more than half the world--s population - lack access to basic health services, with the disadvantages of this global health challenge often disproportionately experienced by people in low- and middle-income countries. East Africa is a region that is acutely affected by this issue.