Friday, March 25, 2011

Using Google for Flu Trends, Gathering Intelligence

NPR - "Back in 2009, during the swine flu epidemic in the U.S., Google launched Google Flu Trends (see chart above). The National Institutes of Health found it helped them track outbreaks of the disease. It turns out that when people started to feel feverish and nauseous, they would go to Google to check out their symptoms. While it wasn't a perfect indicator, Google Flu Trends often beat government predictions about flu outbreaks by a week or more."

The article and NPR radio segment "A New Tool For U.S. Intelligence: Google?" goes on to report that Google trends is being used to gather intelligence, understand the mood of a country, and help predict political unrest.  

1 Comments:

At 3/25/2011 2:45 PM, Blogger Marko said...

". . . Google Flu Trends often beat government predictions about flu outbreaks by a week or more"

Another example of why the private sector should be making flu vaccines, rather than the public sector.

Governments are also awful at predicting the number of razor blades that will be needed for the next five years, history shows.

 

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