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J Med Internet Res. 2011 Jan 28;13(1):e15. doi: 10.2196/jmir.1432.

Review of extracting information from the Social Web for health personalization.

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  • 1Northern Research Institute, Tromsø, Norway.


In recent years the Web has come into its own as a social platform where health consumers are actively creating and consuming Web content. Moreover, as the Web matures, consumers are gaining access to personalized applications adapted to their health needs and interests. The creation of personalized Web applications relies on extracted information about the users and the content to personalize. The Social Web itself provides many sources of information that can be used to extract information for personalization apart from traditional Web forms and questionnaires. This paper provides a review of different approaches for extracting information from the Social Web for health personalization. We reviewed research literature across different fields addressing the disclosure of health information in the Social Web, techniques to extract that information, and examples of personalized health applications. In addition, the paper includes a discussion of technical and socioethical challenges related to the extraction of information for health personalization.

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