ABSTRACT: Social networks, web-based tools and diseases: implications for biomedical research
Advances in information technology have improved our ability to gather, collect and analyze information from individuals online. Social networks can be seen as a nonlinear superposition of a multitude of complex connections between people where the nodes represent individuals and the links between them capture a variety of different social interactions. The emergence of different types of social networks has fostered connections between individuals, thus facilitating data exchange in a variety of fields. Therefore, the question posed now is “can these same tools be applied to life sciences in order to improve scientific and medical research?” In this article, I will review how social networks and other web-based tools are changing the way we approach and track diseases in biomedical research.