The Problem

Although approximately 1 in 6 Americans experience foodborne illness each year, only a small fraction report this to their local public health department. Low reporting is a consequence of accessibility (e.g., difficult to find forms, not sure who to report to), convenience (e.g., time consuming) and engagement.

The Solution

The HealthMap Foodborne Dashboard helps public health departments improve foodborne illness surveillance and reporting by leveraging social media data. The dashboard allows public health departments to view potential food poisoning complaints within their local jurisdiction in real-time.

  • Identify and geo-locate true food poisoning complaints
  • Respond to users via social media to request additional missing information
  • Supplement traditional data reporting to best utilize limited inspection resources

Notable Activity

The HealthMap Foodborne Dashboard was created by the research team at HealthMap, an organization housed at Boston Children’s Hospital. Their platform has been analyzing Twitter data since 2014 and is currently in use by multiple local and national public health agencies.