Northeastern University

By Jonah Comstock November 3, 2014
Without specifically acknowledging criticisms about its accuracy, Google announced Friday it would be making some changes to Google Flu Trends, the service that uses search data to track and predict flu outcomes in the United States and around the world. Specifically, Flu Trends will stop relying solely on search data to make predictions but will begin to combine that search data, continually,...
By Jonah Comstock March 14, 2014
Many people know that Google Flu Trends massively inaccurately predicted the number of flu cases at the end of 2012, as first reported by Nature Magazine's Decan Butler. A group of Northeastern University professors just published a pair of papers, however, that suggest the problems with Flu Trends are much more wide-reaching and systemic than a single glitch -- and they believe there's a lesson...
By Jonah Comstock December 3, 2013
Back in August, I wrote about how the rich and famous were adopting health wearables. But what about the other end of the spectrum? Recent Pew data shows that lower income people are the most likely to have one or more chronic disease, but the least likely to use a health app. Developing mobile health technologies for low income and underserved populations doesn't just have the potential to help...
By Aditi Pai June 26, 2013
On the sidelines of the Games for Health event in Boston this week, Dr. Mark Sivak, assistant academic specialist at Northeastern University, explained to MobiHealthNews that the conversation around health games has evolved from one focused on novelty to one more concerned with outcomes. "What we're staring to get into now on the research level is that previously people would ask, 'Okay, prove to...
By Neil Versel May 2, 2013
Young, low-income, minority women respond favorably to a "virtual patient advocate" that talks to them in plain English in a conversational, non-confrontational manner about birth control and other "preconception planning" issues, preliminary testing of the technology shows. Some even prefer the avatar to an actual physician, according to an article in the American Journal of Health Promotion....