Computational health science research at BYU combines public health, sociology, psychology, and computer science to take health surveillance and communication to a whole new level.
Our mission is to better understand how technology can affect human interactions and enhance supporting environments by conducting innovative research that will inform future practice directed at changing health behavior through improved communication, networking and social capital.
We are particularly interested in the role various social media play in both health surveillance and communication. One of the difficulties of research in public health is determining, and ultimately influencing, the perception and reaction of the public with regard to health-related issues. Social networking websites, such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube, contain vast amounts of content that is constantly being updated by the public as a whole. One of the great advantages this offers is the ability to observe, in a timely manner, the attitudes and behaviors of people in their natural interactions with others.