JUN 17, 2016 4:46 AM PDT

Predicting Cancer From Internet History?


While normally it's medical professionals that assess a person for cancer risks, in the future it could involve internet browsing history. Microsoft has conducted research using the search histories of people who surf the web looking for details about pancreatic cancer. By looking at the search data of users, Microsoft staff were able to accurately predict, in 5-15% of cases, which users had pancreatic cancer. Picking that particular disease was deliberate on the part of Microsoft. Pancreatic cancer normally does not become evident until much later in the disease process. Catching it early is key, so Microsoft hopes their search analyses might identify patients sooner rather than later.

What about privacy concerns though? Could this kind of data collection and prediction backfire? If Microsoft believes a user may have cancer, would they share that information, and how would that work? It's being called a "Cortana for Health" because it's much the same way the Cortana software works to learn about it's users and predict their needs, however with something as serious as a cancer diagnosis, the stakes are much higher
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
JUL 02, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Carbon Nanolattices: Lighter Than (Atomic) Feathers, Tougher Than Diamonds
JUL 02, 2020
Carbon Nanolattices: Lighter Than (Atomic) Feathers, Tougher Than Diamonds
Carbon is known for its plentiful allotropes, such as the naturally existing graphite and diamond, as well as synthetic ...
JUL 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Should We Fly By Venus on the Way to Mars?
JUL 07, 2020
Should We Fly By Venus on the Way to Mars?
After landing on the Moon, heading to Mars became the next logical step for space exploration. Some suggest that flying ...
JUL 23, 2020
Plants & Animals
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
JUL 23, 2020
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
Sharks of all sizes are vital to coral reef ecosystems, both as predators and prey. Shark populations have rapidly decli ...
SEP 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Something Unexpected Happens on Mars During Solar Eclipse
SEP 16, 2020
Something Unexpected Happens on Mars During Solar Eclipse
From data captured by NASA's InSight Mars Lander, researchers in Switzerland have found that Mars behaves differentl ...
OCT 07, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Discovery of Phosphine on Venus - What Does It Mean?
OCT 07, 2020
Discovery of Phosphine on Venus - What Does It Mean?
A Nature Astronomy paper in September, titled "Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus", has led t ...
OCT 07, 2020
Plants & Animals
Tasmanian Devils Return to Mainland Australia
OCT 07, 2020
Tasmanian Devils Return to Mainland Australia
For the first time in about 3,000 years, Tasmanian devils have returned to mainland Australia. According to a report fro ...
Loading Comments...