Name Detecting Influenza Epidemics using Search Engine Query Data
Source Google Inc.
Hyperlink to Source http://googleresearch.blogspot.de/2014/10/google-flu-trends-gets-brand-new-engine.html
Description This study presents a method of analysing large numbers of Google search queries to track influenza-like illness in a population.
Long description Seasonal influenza epidemics are a major public health concern, causing tens of millions of respiratory illnesses and 250,000 to 500,000 deaths worldwide each year 1. In addition to seasonal influenza, a new strain of influenza virus against which no previous immunity exists and that demonstrates human-to-human transmission could result in a pandemic with millions of fatalities 2. Early detection of disease activity, when followed by a rapid response, can reduce the impact of both seasonal and pandemic influenza 3, 4. One way to improve early detection is to monitor health-seeking behaviour in the form of queries to online search engines, which are submitted by millions of users around the world each day. Here the researchers present a method of analysing large numbers of Google search queries to track influenza-like illness in a population. Because the relative frequency of certain queries is highly correlated with the percentage of physician visits in which a patient presents with influenza-like symptoms, they can accurately estimate the current level of weekly influenza activity in each region of the United States, with a reporting lag of about one day. This approach may make it possible to use search queries to detect influenza epidemics in areas with a large population of web search users.
Lead Institution Google Inc.
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Partners Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Case study link http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v457/n7232/full/nature07634.html
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Type Research
Potential for reuse Medium
Open source N/A
Open Source URL
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Plug & Play N/A
Outputs compatible with indicators from Official Statistics N/A
Status Implemented
Country use cases
Target Groups
Other Government Agencies
Sectors where the innovation can be applied
  • Areas of technological innovation
  • Log Data
  • ,
  • Technical Infrastructure
  • Areas of management practice innovations
    Use of Alternative Data Sources
    Areas of institutional process innovations
    Framework
    Non-Official Statistics
    Case Study URL with Public Sector Participation
    Case Study Description
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    Created On 2014-04-12
    Updated On 2014-04-12
    Status Published
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