From tracking flu outbreaks to monitoring drug side effects, researchers are increasingly turning to social media as a potent information source. Mining and analysing data from social networks even has the potential to uncover knowledge about drug usage, its effects, and the characteristics of users.
The improvement of tools to access information about diseases and treatments as well as the development of social media, is leading to more informed patients that want to be involved in their care. With an increasing number of patients with chronic conditions sharing health information online, social media sites present an opportunity to harness medical information that could be used to advance personalised medicine. Given the vast amount of information on these sites, machine learning and AI has been deployed as a strategy to bring value to this otherwise vast and unstructured data.