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Language Mining is the New Health (and Marketing) Tool

I've been really enjoying James Pennebaker's new book The Secret Life of Pronouns, which provides a great, readable overview of how subtle shifts in word choice--frequently, shifts in the use of pronouns from "we" to "I"--can reveal significant differences in emotional, and consequently, physical health.

If This Blog Post Offends You, I Have Insurance

Worried that your edgy new advertising campaign might offend a lot more customers than it attracts? Worry no more. The CBC has a great story about a new concept for how businesses and people can protect themselves from saying stupid things: Social media insurance. The idea is that, before engaging in some heavy Facebooking, a company can hedge against the possibility that they'll say something stupid by paying an insurance company for protection.

As the CBC describes it:

The Future of the Value of Data

Some of the more interesting questions that emerge from using advanced analytics and algorithms to drive our understandings of health surround a question that is likely to get a lot more contentious over the next decade: Who owns the right to new ideas, products, services and cures that emerge from the findings we gain from mining the collective?

What Your Facebook Profile Can Tell Fraud Investigators

An interesting story in the Los Angeles Times highlights the different ways that insurance companies have begun to monitor social networking cites in an effort to root out fraud. For example, a fraud investigator who sees a disability patient post photos of a recent distance run, might use the photo as evidence for further investigation--or to stop paying a disability claim entirely.

This sort of practice, according to the Times, is pretty common:

The Future of Reading Faces

An interesting blog post in the Wall Street Journal a couple weeks ago highlighted a startup company called MedNetworks that, among other things, analyzes social networking data to help pharmaceutical salespeople target their pitches to influential doctors.

The Danger of Measuring Emotions

An easy way to identify a future dilemma is to spot two polar, but entirely sensible, reactions to an emerging practice or technology.

Google buzz wasn't invasive—just persuasive!

Should You Give Away Your Genome?

A couple months ago, a broad consortium of bloggers, patients and companies endorsed a declaration of health data privacy aimed at ensuring individual privacy and control over health data.

Some Thoughts, and a Question, on the Declaration of Health Data Rights

I'm a bit late to this, but a bunch of bloggers, self-trackers and companies have endorsed something called A Delcaration of Health Data Rights. The declaration includes four key points, that, "We the people&quot

Medical data on the go

In an immediate effort to follow up on my recent pledge and to share new developments in mobile health, here's a quick item about an interesting smartphone app. mVisum's tag line is "Medical data delivered to the palm of your hand . . . Anytime -- Anywhere." (For those of you familiar with our Global Health Economy map, you'll remember that "anytime, anyplace health" was a key driver we identified on the map; it is a theme that we returned to at our conference on Mobile Health.)

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