Advertisement

New Google Tool Can Help Americans Track the Flu — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
November 12, 2008

New Google Tool Can Help Americans Track the Flu

Google.org, the company's philanthropic unit, has launched a Web tool that could spot regional flu outbreaks in the U.S. as early as a week before the CDC reports them, according to the New York Times.

Google Flu Trends analyzes searches on influenza (e.g., "flu symptoms") to estimate flu activity in a given area, and then uses the data to create maps of where the illness may be spreading. Google believes the site may allow people to take precautions if influenza is in their region, the Times reports.

In developing Google Flu Trends, engineers mapped 5 years of influenza-related search data to CDC reports on the flu — and found a strong correlation between the two.

"We know [the tool] matches very, very well in the way flu developed in the last year," Google.org's executive director told the Times.

Your Comment

(will not be published)

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Do you have any conflict of interest to disclose?
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Vertical Tabs

* Required

Reader comments are intended to encourage lively discussion of clinical topics with your peers in the medical community. We ask that you keep your remarks to a reasonable length, and we reserve the right to withhold publication of remarks that do not meet this standard.

PRIVACY: We will not use your email address, submitted for a comment, for any other purpose nor sell, rent, or share your e-mail address with any third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement