Archive for the ‘Swine Flu’ category

Googling the Next Epidemic?

April 30, 2009

In November 2008, the Google search engine company released a new search capability called Google Flu Trends. The search mechanism allows users to look at the global flu trends, based on the “ebb and flow” of searches for various regions. Currently the United States’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention monitors diseases and epidemics like the swine flu through its own methods. The new search capability may allow researchers and monitors alike to follow global trends towards certain diseases. However, critics are skeptical of the new release, citing that tracking disease trends via searches will not give scientists enough time in advance to respond to a potential epidemic.