Epitweetr, a free, open source interactive tool that helps with the automatised early detection of public health threats using Twitter data, is now available on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) website. Epiconcept’s Francisco Orchard (Head of the Data Science Unit) and Esther Kissling (Deputy Director of the Epidemiology Department) contributed to the project.
A R-based tool, epitweetr allows users to automatically monitor trends of tweets by time, place and topic, with the aim of detecting public health threats early through signals, such as an unusual increase in the number of tweets. It was designed to support public health experts with the early detection of threats from infectious diseases but can be extended to all hazards and other fields of study by modifying the topics and keywords. epitweetr can be downloaded free of charge from the ECDC website, the CRAN website (for CRAN users) or GitHub (for GitHub users).