Google Studying Search Queries Pattern to Track Onset of Flu in the US

by Tanya Thomas on November 13, 2008 at 5:51 PM
Google Studying Search Queries Pattern to Track Onset of Flu in the US

The search engine biggie, Google, is putting the power of the Web to use for a good cause- tracking the onset of influenza in the United States through studying patterns in search queries of its users!

Google Flu Trends, a new tool unveiled by the Internet giant on Tuesday, counts the number of flu-related queries on the Google search engine and provides estimates on influenza outbreaks in the 50 US states.


"We found that there's a very close relationship between the frequency of these search queries and the number of people who are experiencing flu-like symptoms each week," Google said in a posting on its official blog.

"If we tally each day's flu-related search queries, we can estimate how many people have a flu-like illness."

Google said it had shared its results with the Atlanta-based US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which does its own flu tracking.

"It turns out that traditional flu surveillance systems take 1-2 weeks to collect and release surveillance data, but Google search queries can be automatically counted very quickly," Google said.

"Together we saw that our search-based flu estimates had a consistently strong correlation with real CDC surveillance data," it said.

The company cautioned that Google Flu Trends, which can be seen online at, is "still very experimental," but said it could possibly be a useful tool in preventing the spread of other diseases.

"By making our flu estimates available each day, Google Flu Trends may provide an early-warning system for outbreaks of influenza," the Mountain View, California-based company said.

"For epidemiologists, this is an exciting development, because early detection of a disease outbreak can reduce the number of people affected," Google said.

"Our up-to-date influenza estimates may enable public health officials and health professionals to better respond to seasonal epidemics and - though we hope never to find out - pandemics," it added.

Influenza is responsible for some 500,000 deaths around the world each year.

Source: AFP
Font : A-A+



Recommended Readings

Latest News on IT in Healthcare

AI Tool Mimics Doctor's Notes With Precision
The GatorTronGPT AI tool might lead to a substantial improvement in healthcare efficiency through AI advancements.
Renal Revolution in Uncontrolled Hypertension Management
FDA-approved two renal denervation systems mark a groundbreaking step in treating uncontrolled hypertension.
AI System Offers Potential for Early Autism Diagnosis
The AI system generates a report outlining the specific neural pathways impacted and their expected influence on brain functionality in individuals with autism.
COVID-19 Sparks Major Healthcare Digital Transformation
Rather than being perceived as an obstacle, experts argue that the pandemic has served as a catalyst for digital transformation, especially the healthcare industry.
AI-Driven Muscle Metrics Aids the Growth Standards for Kids
Novel innovation by AI helps provide a swift, yet reproducible measure of lean muscle mass in developing children.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Google Studying Search Queries Pattern to Track Onset of Flu in the US Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests