Google Flu Trends Will Now Report Directly To Health Organizations

Google Flu Trends Will Now Report Directly To Health Organizations
Mike Farrar becomes a flu fighter NHS Employers / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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Google Flu Trends is, in a way, shutting down indefinitely. In a recent entry in the Google Research Blog, the Flu Trends Team has announced that they will no longer be maintaining their own website.


Instead, they are going to concentrate their work on passing data to those who could use it most.

Google Flu Trends specializes in “nowcasting”

A team of Google software engineers started working on Flu Trends back in 2008. The goal was to be able to explore real-world phenomena when it comes to certain infectious diseases such as the flu, as it relates to search patterns. This led the software engineers to believe that a pattern can be readily modeled based on search queries.

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Over the years, Google Flu Trends was able to provide important insights through what it calls “nowcasting.” In fact, work derived from Google Flu Trends has been used in the health and economics industry as well as other fields. Through this, Google has also managed to create prediction models that can be updated with every case of flu that happens in the real world over time.

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Flu Trends data will now empower health organizations

Today, the Flu Trends team has decided that instead of just posting their work, they would empower institutions who are at the forefront of battling diseases instead. These would include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Influenza Division, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard.

The hope is that they can contribute towards a better understanding of how flu and dengue spread. Nonetheless, previous Flu Trends and Dengue Trends data in the world can still be viewed. One can also browse the data per country.