I just found out about this, and thought it was interesting!
Most of us know that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is "THE" place to go to for statistics on diseases, namely, the flu.
Did you know that online searching, such as using Google, may also provide as good, or better, stats? I don't think I would base my thesis or dissertation on these statistics, but for the general population, it can be one more piece of the puzzle to consider.
Google states that, "we have found a close relationship between how many people search for flu-related topics and how many people actually have flu symptoms." They provide very compelling explanations and data to substantiate their claims that Google can actually PREDICT the flu trend before the CDC!
You can see for yourself: the blue line is "Google search" and the yellow line is "CDC data":
This is interesting to me, as we've been taught to go to the original source for information (professional journal articles and peer reviewed research, for instance). We are taught NOT to use generic search engines (such as Google) to provide us with credible, reliable information. Google provides links based on our keyword search, and it is up to the consumer to determine what is credible information, and what is hokey.
Maybe the tide is turning, and some technology wizards are actually using the internet to compile statistics and provide us with credible health information, stats, data and trends. What do you think?
All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.