Google able to predict flu spread

The NYT reports today that the philanthropic unit of Google is using flu data from CDC and Google searches for keywords such as “muscle aches” and “flu symptoms”. A combination of the data including regional indicators helps to identify in which geographic regions there might be flu break-outs.

More information about this “predict and prevent” project is available on Google.org/Flutrends.

Again, an example of public data use by a private organization to private a public good.

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