Social Networks and Automated Mental Health Screening
A health social network is an online information service which facilitates information sharing between closely related members of a community. The main means of finding patients with similar health conditions has been based on labor-intensive methods, such as searching the Internet. Also, because of the privacy and security issues of health information systems, it is often difficult to find patients who can support each other in the community. Over the years, many automated recommender systems have been developed for social networking. We propose a social networking framework for patient care, where health service providers facilitate social links between parents using similarities of mental health conditions. A machine learning approach was developed to automatically generate keywords for mental health descriptions that can be used to screen for mental health conditions and to then group individuals with similar mental health conditions. Keywords are generated from sources such as conversations on online forums. These keywords are then used to identify similarities between mental health descriptions, in order to recommend a community of related patients.
We would like to thank Yi Pin Song for collecting text documents from various Internet health forums. This work was supported by JCU Research Grant JCUS/003/2011/IS, a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Grand Challenges Explorations Initiative (Grant Number: OPP1032125), and T-BOP PTE LTD (http://www.t-bop.com).
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