We all love Google already. It helps us to find books, scholarly articles, weather information, maps, news, videos, and almost everything else you can imagine. It provides an excellent e-mail service, it has a nice social network, it offers a dynamic chat, space for pictures, blogs, and the list goes on… Google is already taking care of almost all our online businesses, academic, and social life, and now it is also going to care of our precious health.
Today Google.org launched “Google Flu Trends”, a web tool that tracks flu-outbreaks by considering the number of people searching for keywords like “flu symptoms” or “muscle aches” (read The New York Times article by Miguel Helft for more information).
The service only covers the US, but Google is hoping to use the same technique to track influenza and other diseases worldwide. In my opinion the idea is awesome, and may help health institutions to become aware of problems in a certain area, as well as make people take better care of themselves.
Do you also think this idea will go viral?