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Infodemiology can be defined as the science of distribution and determinants of information in an electronic medium, specifically the Internet, or in a population, with the ultimate aim to inform public health and public policy. Infodemiology data can be collected and analyzed in near real time. Examples for infodemiology applications include: the analysis of queries from Internet search engines to predict disease outbreaks (eg. influenza); monitoring peoples' status updates on microblogs such as Twitter for syndromic surveillance; detecting and quantifying disparities in health information availability; identifying and monitoring of public health relevant publications on the Internet (eg. anti-vaccination sites, but also news articles or expert-curated outbreak reports); automated tools to measure information diffusion and knowledge translation, and tracking the effectiveness of health marketing campaigns. Moreover, analyzing how people search and navigate the Internet for health-related information, as well as how they communicate and share this information, can provide valuable insights into health-related behavior of populations.
COMMANDER REISSMAN, WE HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU. THIS ONE COMES FROM NEW YORK CITY. "IS CDC DOING ANYTHING TO FIND OUT HOW PEOPLE WILL REACT TO PUBLIC DIRECTIVES TO TAKE MEDICINES?" >> YES, CDC IS. WE ARE LOOKING TO EXPLORE SOME OF THE FACTORS RELATED TO MEDICATION ADHERENCE AND WE HOPE TO BE ABLE TO DEVELOP A TOOL THAT'S GOING TO LOOK AT RAPID ETHNOGRAPHIC ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY TO HELP US TAILOR COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES FOR LOCAL NEEDS.
>> NOW, COMMANDER REISSMAN, YOU MENTIONED SOMETHING AT BEGINNING OF THE BROADCAST THAT I WANT TO GET BACK TO. YOU SAID THERE WERE TWO MAIN JOBS THAT PUBLIC INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION WOULD HAVE TO ACCOMPLISH WHEN THE PODs ARE ACTIVATED. THE FIRST PART WAS GETTING PEOPLE TO THE PODs. THE SECOND PART WAS GETTING THEM TO TAKE THE MEDICATIONS AND COMPLY WITH THEIR INSTRUCTIONS AFTER THEY LEAVE THE POD. WHY WOULDN'T SOMEONE TAKE THE MEDICATIONS THEY RECEIVED?
>> WELL, JOE, THERE COULD BE ANY NUMBER OF REASONS, REALLY. THEY MIGHT GET HOME AND START TO THINK IT WAS ALL A FALSE ALARM. PERHAPS THEY REALIZED THEY'RE JUST NOT COMFORTABLE TAKING A BUNCH OF MEDICINE THAT GOT HANDED TO THEM IN A GOVERNMENT DISPENSING SITE IN THE MIDDLE OF AN EMERGENCY. OR MAYBE THEY'VE HEARD AN UNSUBSTANTIATED RUMOR THAT THE MEDICATION WILL HURT MORE THAN IT HELPS. WE HUMANS CAN TALK OURSELVES INTO AND OUT OF JUST ABOUT ANYTHING. AND PEOPLE'S RESPONSES DURING A CRISIS MIGHT NOT BE THE SAME RESPONSES THEY'D NORMALLY EXHIBIT. WE MUST HAVE AN OVERALL APPROACH THAT INSPIRES CONFIDENCE. I LIKE TO THINK OF IT IN TERMS OF MALCOLM GLADWELL'S "THE TIPPING POINT." THE TIPPING POINT IS THAT MOMENT WHEN AN EVENT OR AN ACTION OR EVEN A PERCEPTION TAKES HOLD AND STRONGLY INFLUENCES A REACTION OR A BEHAVIOR AT THE GROUP LEVEL.
IN OTHER WORDS, IT'S WHEN EVERYONE GETS FED UP AND REFUSES TO TAKE THEIR MEDICATION OR WHEN EVERYONE GETS ON BOARD AND WORKS TOWARD THE COMMON GOAL OF MEDICATION COMPLIANCE.
>> WHAT ARE SOME STRATEGIES WE CAN USE TO TIP THE SCALE IN FAVOR OF MEDICATION COMPLIANCE?
>> WELL, THERE ARE SEVERAL SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS WE CAN WORK ON TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE TAKE THEIR MEDICATION. WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT COMMUNITY COHESIVENESS AND POSITIVE SOCIAL INFLUENCES ARE A POSITIVE FACTOR. KEEP IN MIND THAT PEOPLE RARELY ACT IN ISOLATION. THEY'LL TURN TO PERSONAL PHYSICIANS OR COLLEAGUES FOR ADVICE. OUR JOB INCLUDES EDUCATING INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, BUT ALSO EDUCATING THE INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THEIR LIVES. THAT'S WHY TAPPING INTO CULTURAL NETWORKS TO DISSEMINATE INFORMATION IS ALSO VERY IMPORTANT. ALL THIS IS PART OF AN EFFECTIVE METHOD FOR GETTING PEOPLE TO TAKE THEIR MEDICINE. PRODUCTIVE BACK-AND-FORTH COMMUNICATION AMONG LEADERS, PUBLIC HEALTH, AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS ESSENTIAL TO DELIVERING THE MESSAGE OF MEDICATION COMPLIANCE.
AT THE SAME TIME, WE WANT TO ENCOURAGE A TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION THAT ALLOWS THE PUBLIC TO VERBALIZE THEIR EMOTIONS, HAVE THEIR CONCERNS ADDRESSED, AND HAVE THEIR FALSE BELIEFS CORRECTED. IT ALSO INCLUDES US PROVIDING TIMELY, ACCURATE INFORMATION THAT PROMOTES REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS AMONG THE PUBLIC. PEOPLE WILL HAVE A TREMENDOUS DEMAND FOR INFORMATION, AND OUR JOB INCLUDES PREPARING THE PUBLIC TO RECEIVE INFORMATION AND TO RECEIVE INSTRUCTIONS THAT WILL BE CRITICAL TO PROTECTING THEIR LIVES AND THE LIVES OF THEIR FAMILIES.
>> COMMANDER REISSMAN IS A PSYCHIATRIST WITH EXPERTISE ON THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EMOTIONAL IMPLICATIONS WE'D BE FACING IN A REAL EVENT.CAN YOU GIVE US SOME INSIGHT INTO HOW WE CONSTRUCT THESE MESSAGES?
>> WELL, JOE, GETTING PEOPLE TOTHE PODs IS PART ONE. BUT GETTING PEOPLE TO FOLLOW UP AND TAKE THE MEDICATIONS IS PART TWO. WE'LL TALK ABOUT THAT IN JUST A FEW MINUTES. FOR THE FIRST PART, GETTING PEOPLE TO THE PODs, WE NEED TO FOCUS FOR JUST A MOMENT ON THE PRE-EVENT MESSAGES. HAVE WE GOTTEN THE POPULATION READY FOR THE POD? DO PEOPLE KNOW THAT, IN THE EVENT OF AN ANTHRAX OR SMALLPOX EMERGENCY, THAT PODs WOULD BE SET UP TO PROVIDE THE PUBLIC WITH MEDICATIONS? WE NEED TO LET PEOPLE KNOW ABOUTTHE PODs WELL IN ADVANCE OF NEEDING THEM. THE PUBLIC WILL FEEL MORE CONFIDENCE, KNOWING THAT PODs WILL BE SET UP AND RUN ACCORDING TO A PLAN THAT'S BEEN DEVELOPED FOR YOUR AREA. WE NEED TO LET PEOPLE KNOW THAT OUR PLANNING FOR THE PODs IS THOROUGH, BUT ALSO FLEXIBLE. IF PROBLEMS COME UP, THERE IS A MECHANISM TO SOLVE THEM.
WE CAN SET EXPECTATIONS WITHOUT GIVING OUT SPECIFIC LOCATIONS OR ACTIVITIES. PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THAT A PLAN IS IN PLACE AND THEY'LL HAVE SOMEWHERE TO GO FOR MEDICATIONS IF AN EVENT OCCURS. REMEMBER, THE EVENT, THE AGENT,THE IDEA OF MASS PROPHYLAXIS,AND A GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED POD,WILL BE ENTIRELY NEW FOR MOST PEOPLE. YOU WILL HAVE TO CONVINCE PEOPLE OF THE NEED TO COME TO A POD,AND ONE WAY TO DO THAT INVOLVES GIVING THEM SPECIFIC TASKS TO COMPLETE BEFORE THEY EVEN COME TO THE POD.
>> SO TO GET PEOPLE TO COME TO THE POD, YOU GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO DO?
>> YES, YOU HAVE TO DEVELOP MESSAGES THAT INVOLVE THE PUBLIC. THIS BEGINS AN IMPORTANT EDUCATION PROCESS, AND IT MOVES THEM INCREMENTALLY TO THE DISPENSING SITES. SO, FOR EXAMPLE, GIVE MOTHERS AND FATHERS SOMETHING TO DO, LIKE ROUNDING UP THEIR CHILDREN'S WEIGHTS OR LISTING GRANDMA'S MEDICATIONS. TELL THEM TO FILL OUT THE ONLINE MEDICAL FORMS IF YOUR COMMUNITY HAS ONE, OR PICK UP A MEDICAL FORM AT THE GROCERY STORE, THE POST OFFICE, LIBRARY, OR OTHER COMMUNITY AREA. MESSAGES SHOULD APPEAL TO OUR CIVIC-MINDEDNESS. PEOPLE WANT TO HELP AND DO THE RIGHT THING. ASK THEM TO CHECK ON THEIR ELDERLY NEIGHBORS, FOR EXAMPLE. SMALLER COMMUNITIES MIGHT HIGHLIGHT THE ADVANTAGES AND IMPORTANCE OF COMING TO A NEIGHBORHOOD POD. ASK FOR THEIR HELP BY NOT ARRIVING TOO EARLY BEFORE THE POD IS OPEN. TELL THEM HOW EASY IT WILL BE WHEN THEY GET THERE. PEOPLE WHO ARE INVOLVED AND PREPARED ARE MORE LIKELY TO COME TO THE POD AND COOPERATE, ONCE THEY'RE THERE.
Originally posted by sowerby
An interesting tidbit of information for all those interested in all the attention being put on the importance of vaccines, the reports of glycine being related to autism, and so on --
My very best friend was raised by parents who are (or were, at least, until steps were made to silence them) very interested and involved in conspiracy theories. She has not had one single vaccine in her life because her mother was wary of glycine and the effects it causes. This friend still refuses under all circumstances to get any on her own accord. This is a difficult thing because so many jobs and other circumstances require one to be vaccinated. She is rarely ever sick - she might get a cold or a cough when the seasons change. No different than anyone, really. She is in her twenties now, so this theory of vaccines being unnecessary, and glycine being dangerous and in vaccines, is nothing new. And yet they're still being shoved down our throats -- and all the reports of these vaccines containing essentially lethal ingredients are being announced like they're new discoveries.
Just thought I'd provide a bit of a general grasp on how long these things have at least been rumored about. Most of what I've found is being talked about on the ATS boards are things she told me about years ago before I was aware of there being a mass of people privy to these ideas. Feeling a lot better now that I know you're all out there. Feeling much less alone
Anyway, make of it what you will.