Tweets, retweets, likes, and mentions – in a world connected by social media it’s much easier to raise awareness of important health issues. The latest news on disease prevention can be passed to millions of people in seconds, and stories of medical breakthroughs give hope, and bring researchers closer to patients. This picture may look like a brain, or a developing embryo, but in fact it’s pure information – a map of Twitter tweets and retweets containing the hashtag #breastcancer. Over an eight week period, 92915 tweets were analysed using data-mining to identify the authors (the dots here), as well as links to other Twitter users mentioned in the messages (lines). This and other examples of health informatics may help universities, research councils and charities to increase the reach of important messages, ensuring news goes “viral” much faster than diseases may progress.
Written by John Ankers
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.