Scientists improve flu predictions of Google Flu Trends




A group of scientists says that the flu epidemics can track better than Google Flu Trends. They do this by using the data from Google and this to ‘fine tune’ with flu reports from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The method has been developed by three scientists at the University of California in San Diego. They combine the patterns that Google Flu Trends looks with reports issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In those reports are confirmed cases of influenza, laboratory-based, is described. This information is again associated with a location.

According to the researchers Google, the extent of the flu epidemic overestimate if people are concerned about the flu, in which case they do search for information about the flu, but they themselves have no symptoms. By linking information from the search engine with information from the CDC to make scientists more accurate than Google’s software are.

Google Flu Trends predicts flu epidemics based on information from its search engine, the more people look for information about the flu, the more cases there are in fact, is the argument. That information can be linked to the location from which people seek.

The scientists hope that their method fast in practice will be deployed. According to them the flu include useful predictor for epidemiologists and data analysts.

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