Have you heard of Google Flu Trends? Want to know about flu activity before the CDC tells you about it?
How does Google Flu Trends work? According to their website:
"We've found that certain search terms are good indicators of flu activity. Google Flu Trends uses aggregated Google search data to estimate flu activity in your state up to two weeks faster than traditional flu surveillance systems."
Would this also work for other infectious outbreaks? I think this is a great application of technology to improve public health and epidemiology. I'm sure Dr. John Snow (the father of modern epidemiology) would have found Google Flu Trends to be absolutely fascinating.