Social media is a promising new frontier for insights into large-scale medical and treatment patterns

Insights Into Large-scale Medical and Treatment Patterns as Expert in Biomedical Networks Partners With Persistent Systems for Big Data Analysis, Insights and Visualization

The world of clinical trials just got a whole lot bigger thanks to pioneering work by a team of scientists from Indiana University's School of Informatics and Computing. The Complex Adaptive Systems and Computational Intelligence (CASCI) group partnered with Persistent Systems, a world leader in large-scale software-driven healthcare solutions, to develop sophisticated algorithms to analyze the connection between medicine and social behavior in health issues, particularly how they are discussed across social media. Combining the tools of Big Data analysis and visualization with the vast amounts of data generated by social media, this group has started to tackle new areas of health research at a scale never before seen.

Professor Luis Rocha, Director, Complex Networks & Systems Ph.D. Program, CASCI Principal Investigator, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University notes:

"We try to find the commonality between biological, social, and technological networks, and the Internet. Previous studies-whether in hospitals or by sociologists-could handle only 20, 30 or 40 patients in a study. Software is now driving our research, so through social media we can plug into millions and millions of people worldwide with very different types of conditions. This helps us tap into the psychological and social elements of healthcare, making this a major game changer."

Watch the full video with Professor Rocha describing the CASCI solution at

For example, in looking at the analysis of depression, millions of posts are first analyzed based on defined hashtags with the relevant drug names across social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. The algorithms developed find connections on how drugs interact with each other, and how people are describing them, also looking for clusters of symptoms at a scale not previously possible. Identifying and validating new clusters of drugs, natural products and symptoms can act as an early warning system for adverse drug effects and interactions.

The methodology also allows the study of multiple health issues with distinct social attitudes, such as depression and epilepsy, or drill down at the community differences between Twitter and Instagram. Another goal is to allow health specialists to visualize and interact with the data in three dimensions, allowing them to study cohort and individual behaviors in much detail in a virtual reality setting. "We build knowledge networks from what people are talking about on their public timelines. This enable us to visually graph and inspect how different drugs, symptoms and even natural products are connected to each other", says Rion Brattig Correia, a CASCI doctoral student in the School of Informatics and Computing at IU Bloomington, who is developing this computational social science analysis with Prof. Rocha.

The work at CASCI is one of many transformative digital healthcare solutions Persistent has worked on around the world, reflecting the huge opportunity to use Big Data and software-driven environments to reshape doctor/patient interaction. Frequently working at the forefront of academic research around sophisticated network analysis, Persistent's other partnerships include Virginia Tech's Biocomplexity Institute and Hackensack University Medical Center.

Dr. Sid Chatterjee, Persistent Systems Chief Technology Officer explains:

"Using data-smart data-is how we transform to being software-driven. This is precisely what CNetS has achieved: utilizing massive amounts of new but unstructured sources of data and making sense of the patterns. Tapping into the scale of social networks offers an incredible source of consumer and patient data, opening up a whole new type of software-driven solution."


The Complex Adaptive Systems and Computational Intelligence (CASCI) group at Indiana University works on complex networks & systems and their applications to informatics, biology, health, and social systems. It is affiliated with the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research at the School of Informatics and Computing, as well as the Indiana University Network Science Institute (IUNI). IUNI unites 100+ researchers at IU, building on their world-renowned multidisciplinary expertise toward further scientific understanding of the complex networked systems of our world. Through pioneering new approaches in mapping, representing, visualizing, modeling, and analyzing diverse complex networks across levels and disciplines, IUNI is laying the groundwork for innovative research and discovery in the area of network science.

About Persistent Systems

Persistent Systems (BSE & NSE: PERSISTENT) builds software that drives the business of our customers; enterprises and software product companies with software at the core of their digital transformation.

Certain statements in this release concerning our future growth prospects are forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding fluctuations in earnings, our ability to manage growth, intense competition in IT services including those factors which may affect our cost advantage, our revenues highly dependent on customers located in the United States, wage increases in India, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-time frame contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, industry segment concentration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks or system failures, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, liability for damages on our service contracts, concentration of major operations of the Company in one city, withdrawal of governmental fiscal incentives, political instability and regional conflicts, legal restrictions on raising capital or acquiring companies outside India, and unauthorized use of our intellectual property and general economic conditions affecting our industry. The Company may, from time to time, make additional written and oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in the Company's filings with the Stock Exchanges and our reports to shareholders. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that may be made from time to time by or on behalf of the Company.

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