User data from Google, YouTube and other online platforms can be used to predict, prevent and even mitigate loneliness, potentially lowering the risk of suicide for at-risk individuals, according to a Rutgers study. “Anxiety and loneliness are typically diagnosed at a doctor’s office,” said Vivek K. Singh, director of the Behavioral Informatics Lab at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information and the corresponding author of the study published in the journal Electronics.

“We wanted to see if data collected passively, by the websites people visit or the search terms they use, could be analyzed by machine learning to be clinically useful,” Singh said. “The goal was to see if there are clear connections between digital traces and wellness indicators.” To read the full story.