San Diego startup Swarmology has stepped out of stealth mode with the debut of its website and the disclosure of $1.2 million in initial funding. According to the article, “The company, founded last December by pharmaceutical and health IT executive Malcolm Bohm, provides targeted, Web-based marketing services for its customers by analyzing online conversations about specific health concerns on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Swarmology’s customers already include a large healthcare insurance provider and a couple of smaller pharmaceutical companies, Bohm says.”

It continues, “Bohm says the idea for Swarmology occurred after he began wondering if there was a comparable richness in the health and medical information that people share on Facebook and Twitter. ‘Enormous numbers of people are talking about their own health,’ Bohm says… Bohm says a Pew internet Life Research study published earlier this year shows that 70 percent of U.S. adults search online for health-related subjects, and some 43 percent are crowdsourcing their health care through online discussions with fellow patients and healthcare providers. Using data analytics, Bohm says, ‘You can get this wealth of information across wide swaths of social media. We can capture all the conversations—we call that a swarm—in a virtual community.’”

It adds, “Bohm says Swarmology can collect online comments posted on a particular topic—diabetes, for example—by searching for specific terms such as ‘insulin,’ ‘blood,’ ‘sugar,’ and ‘HbA1c’ (a standard lab test that measures blood sugar) as well as less-specific terms such as ‘diet’ and ‘exercise’ that are more contextual. By using semantic analysis and natural language processing, Bohm says Swarmology’s technology is sophisticated enough to identify and include comments like ‘I’m walking like a zombie today’ in a search for online comments about insomnia.”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy Swarmology