Megan Moreno

Facebook posts often seem like throwaway items, but they can actually serve as an early warning system to identify young adults at risk of substance abuse, depression or worse. That’s the underlying premise of work being done by Dr. Megan Moreno and her team at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

Their research also points to the broader potential of Facebook and other social media to serve as mechanisms for predictive analysis.

Sound intriguing? GeekWire is pleased to be working with Seattle Children’s to present a special community meetup starting at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday Oct. 2 in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood (West 8th Building, 2001 8th Ave, fourth floor.)

Tickets are available to the public. The event is geared toward a broad technology audience, or anyone else with an interest in the topics of social media research and health care.

The event will feature a presentation by Dr. Moreno, a clinician in adolescent medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital and principal investigator for the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT) at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. The presentation will be followed by a conversation between Moreno and GeekWire columnist Monica Guzman, plus audience Q&A.

More details are available on the event page. Tickets for the event are available here or below, with all proceeds going to initiatives related to the work of Moreno’s team at the non-profit institute. Food and beverages will be provided.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Oct. 2 for this special meetup.

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  • Christopher Budd

    I totally get the good intention behind this but there’s a lot about this that concerns me from a privacy and civil liberties point of view.

    There’s a story this week about the school district in Glendale using a monitoring service that is ostensibly for student safety:,0,2775536.story.

    Part of the issue is that school districts don’t have a great privacy record when it comes to technology:

    It would be great if you’d include something on security and privacy as part of the discussion.

    • Todd Bishop

      Great point, will do. One thing I didn’t mention above is that Dr. Moreno’s findings are based on young adults who participate knowingly in the research.

      • Christopher Budd

        Thank you. I figured the study was likely voluntary. I’m more concerned about what people recommend doing out of the study, specifically around “predictive analysis”.

        Part of my concern too is there’s a long track record of civil liberties being trampled on in the understandable zeal to protect children. It’s such a great risk that I’m an advocate of keeping checks and balances and protections front and center in all these discussions.

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