Social Media Sites Tip Off Doctors Tracking the Flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses social media site Google Flu Trends to track levels of illness based on use of the company’s search engine to look at flu-related topics, according to American Medical News.

Though the accuracy of Google Flu Trends has not been verified scientifically, Google Flu data has closely followed the data collected by the CDC, according to Lynette Brammeran epidemiologist with the CDC’s influenza division.

By monitoring websites such as Google Flu, physicians can track influenza outbreaks in real time, so they can prepare for future influxes of sick patients, while the CDC can only collect data from patients after they’ve already seen a doctor.

Posted in Physicians, Technology.