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Google Trends provides Flu epidemic

The new online tool, of the giant of the web, is able to identify the periodimage of peaks and spread of the Flue with weeks in advance.


Is Flue arriving? To predict where and when now is up to Dr. Google.
The colossus of Mountain View has launched its new online tool - Google Flu Trends - for now available only in the United States - which allows you to locate, map and see the flu peak within a much broader reach than with traditional instruments.
The principle underlying the functioning of Flu Trends is simply: "We discovered that there is a very close relationship between the frequency of research on flu symptoms and the number of people in a given week that are actually dealing with ' influence, "says the Google blog dedicated to the project. Analyzing the area of origin of the inquiry influence, the system is then able to predict where will the next boom of fever, sneezing and various illnesses.
"What we are excited to Flu Trends is enabling anyone - epidemiologists, health officials, mothers with sick children - know the current level of activity in their state, according to data continuously updated during the week "Says Jeremy Ginsberg, chief engineer for the development of the site: To reach the goal, Google has worked in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Prevention and control of diseases, which have helped to refine the tool and make it reliable and provided data on the spread of the Flue in the past five years. However, these centers have so far done the work of Flu Trends, but the Google promises to identify the peak flu even with two weeks in advance, much earlier than is possible with the traditional means of control.

The potential of this new technology are significant: "In theory this could be put into practice for any disorder or disease in America," says Dr. Joseph Bresee, director of the division of epidemiology and prevention center. Not lacking, however, the margins of error: for example, the system can not detect symptoms of the wide part of the population who do not perform searches on the Internet, from the elderly and children. (translated from: lastampa.it)

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