JUN 17, 2016 04:46 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
SEP 07, 2018
Videos
SEP 07, 2018
The Therapeutic Potential of Venoms
Over 220,000 species, around 15 percent of the world's described animals, are known to be venomous....
SEP 10, 2018
Videos
SEP 10, 2018
Is The Human Brain Programmable?
The brain is often referred to as a computer. Researchers have tried for years to make artificial intelligence as fast and efficient as the human brain, bu...
OCT 07, 2018
Health & Medicine
OCT 07, 2018
The Myth Behind Being Double-Jointed
Every so often, you might come across the occasional show-off that flexes their bodies in unusual ways and claims to be “double-jointed.” But i...
OCT 09, 2018
Videos
OCT 09, 2018
Take-out doesn't have to be this way
I love take-out just as much as the next person, but there's something that gets to me every time I order in: the amount of single-use waste that comes...
OCT 10, 2018
Videos
OCT 10, 2018
Are Personality Tests Scientifically Accurate?
Personality tests like the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and others are used to find out what a person is like, internally. They measure reac...
OCT 11, 2018
Videos
OCT 11, 2018
How Iceland is growing forests for the first time in a millennium
Iceland is perhaps one of the worst cases of deforestation that the world has seen. Over the last 1,000 years, the country's forests have been felled f...
Loading Comments...