It's not the first time a tech giant has used its massive pool
of real-time user data to provide a public-health resource.
Google has a flu
tracker that uses aggregated Google search data to estimate flu
Everyday Health president Michael Keriakos pointed to a whooping
cough outbreak in South Central Los Angeles two years ago. He said
the "HealthBeat" product developed with Twitter could have provided
information to residents about vaccination programs through
promoted tweets and hashtag health alerts targeted to Twitter users
in that region.
"We'll be looking at the key health terms flaring up every day,
and when something is indexing in an abnormal way we'll let Twitter
know and we'll supply content about what to do," Mr. Keriakos
Not all content will be sponsored, he said, but advertisers will
be sought to promote content around broader health topics like
allergies, flu season and insomnia. For example, a national
pharmacy chain might want to sponsor the hashtag #fluseason as well
as videos featuring Dr. Sanjay Gupta (CNN's chief medical
correspondent who also reports for Everyday Health) describing
preventative measures that would be distributed in promoted tweets
and appear in users' streams. Advertisers can also sponsor content
on Everyday Health sites that will be linked to within promoted
Everyday Health can also use Twitter's targeting for
advertiser-sponsored alerts, Mr. Keriakos said.
"If you're on Twitter at 3:30 a.m., chances are you're not
sleeping," he said. He noted that a sleep-aid manufacturer could be
a sponsor for insomnia-related content.
Everyday Health and Twitter have not signed up advertisers for
the program, which formally launches today.