A video review of The Health Tweeder

What could be more appropriate than a video review of pixels&pills new tweets-by-disease state visualization tool, The Health Tweeder?

I have therefore fired up STweM’s YouTube channel for the first time in 2010 in order to share this Screenr screencast with you:

11 thoughts on “A video review of The Health Tweeder

  1. Andrew – thanks for this video review. I’m travelling and unable to view the actual Health Tweeder, but your video played fine on the iPhone via YouTube. Interesting design there, and it seems like a one-stop shop for fast Twitter research on various disease states – typically we have to search for this info when using many of the free tools available. Thanks again.

  2. Andrew…on behalf of everyone from the collaboration that is P&P…. I thank you for the kinds words regarding our little sandbox project “the Health Tweeder”…. we have some more tricks up our sleeves…so here’s to digital innovation in healthcare!


    DJ Edgerton

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  4. Well, as ever the contrarian, I was rather disappointed in the tool after checking out ‘cancer’.

    What criteria is the tool using to search on? Are only certain Twitter handles defined as ‘kosher’ and used to select from their tweets?

    In ‘cancer’ it includes mainly a couple of news outlets and one of two physicians, for example.

    There’s a lot more out there! For example, I wrote a whole series of blog posts on lung and colorectal cancer from scientific conferences in January and tweeted them but none showed up in the tool, which suggests that only a few Twitter handles are being used for the search.

    Also, searching on ‘cancer’ will give you mainly solid tumours and not hematologic malignancies such as leukemias, lymphomas, myelodysplastic syndrome etc, never mind the shorted acronyms in common use such as AML, NHL, CLL etc.

    For me, the tool looks pretty, but by screening out much of the useful content, I’m sticking with Twitter search for more specific terms and extensive information.

    A neat way to make the tool more useful and interactive would be to provide a search box so one could search for ‘lung cancer’ or even by drug names.

    • Hi Sally

      Thanks for stopping by! I take your point, absolutely. Perhaps I’m looking at this from the perspective of ‘what it could be’, and you’re looking at it from the perspective of ‘what it actually is’.

      As we all head into the cloud and anticipate a time when much of the data we actually end up reviewing will be filtered according to our evolving preferences, it’s nice to begin to conceptualize a time when visualization tools will be added into the search mix.

      As a search tool, no, The Health Tweeder is not fit for purpose, but then this is a launch product. I’m guessing by-disease state search term augmentation may be integrated into later versions. However, as a way of gesturing towards getting people to think about how data could be ordered visually in anticipation of (for example) drag and drop search, it’s a small conceptual step forward, in much the same way as @PhilBaumann’s meditations on abstracting disease states using geospatial tools like Foursquare helps us loosen the mental shackles a little.

      Off to watch Minority Report now. Where did I leave those neoprene gloves? 🙂

      • Hi Andrew,

        Conceptualisation and visualisation are truly great concepts, that’s what appealed to me initially, thinking it would be an interesting way to look at data in new and vivid ways, just as Wordle and other tools can be fun.

        I was just disappointed on clicking on my topic of interest to see that the actual data under the bonnet looked like this:


        3 tweets from one person on my random scroll. Oh. I was thinking as a former pharma marketer – how useful or interesting is that picture if I wanted to actually use the tool? How can I compare disease states broadly, or even different cancers. At the moment you can’t, so the relative scores on the left hand side don’t actually mean that much.

        We all use tools that have utility, whether visual or not, but if they don’t have any rigour or complete data, then they get looked at once and forgotten about.

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