SXSW 2010: When Swine Flew: Embracing Innovation in H1N1 Response

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 11:00am
Ann Aikin, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
David Hale, National Library of Medicine
Andrew Wilson, Dept Health and Human Services
Andre Blackman, Pulse + Signal

Session Description

With social media and emerging technology, public health agencies can utilize more tools than ever in a public health emergency. In this panel, social media strategists and researchers, working in the front lines of the pandemic H1N1 response, will discuss strategy, innovations and the changing relationship between citizens and government.


“That particular genetic combination of swine influenza viruses has not been recognized before in the U.S. or elsewhere”

Situational Awareness: the ability of a group, organization, or individual to have access to everything they need to make active decisions to create results.

Monitoring Twitter with NLP

  • Processed 1200 Twitter posts (within the first hour)
  • Preprocessed to accommodate format

Schema: UMLS Semantic Types

  • Focus output
  • Schema for influenza epidemic

MetaMap and SemRep Output

  • Tweets: Texas confirms third case of swine flu

Results: Filtered through Schema

  • Disease or Syndrome: Influenza
  • Sign or Symptom: Coughing
  • Location: Mexico
  • etc.

…Basically they analyzed Tweets within the first hour of the outbreak in a calculated system (NLP) defined by some specific search terms to see when outbreaks were occurring, and how fast they were spreading.

More Information


Posted in Geeky, SXSW 2010.

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