Should we have a disease forecast?

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Offline thedoc

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Should we have a disease forecast?
« on: 21/11/2014 13:26:41 »
Disease outbreaks can be predicted 28 days in advance, using the viewing figures of Wikipedia pages, new research has shown...

Read the whole story on our website by clicking here

« Last Edit: 21/11/2014 13:26:41 by _system »


Offline CliffordK

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Re: Should we have a disease forecast?
« Reply #1 on: 22/11/2014 05:42:58 »
Most interesting.

I could see advantages if one could program Wikipedia, Google, or WebMD to snag the incoming IP addresses to increase location specificity, but could imagine serious privacy concerns.

News, of course, might confound the program.  It is not uncommon for me to hear something on NPR then look up additional details on the web.  One might be able to control to some extent with knowing the timing of audio/visual news programs, but it would be harder to control with printed news, or internet news.  And, sometimes if I'm driving, I try to look up the info later.

News, however, isn't entirely a bad thing.  If I hear about the swine flu locally, I might be inclined to look up info about it whether or not I am sick, or personally know someone that is sick.  And thus, one still gets the local hits.

Perhaps the specificity of the searches could be used to control "news" vs "symptoms".  So, if I hear about Ebola, then I'll look up Ebola.  On the other hand, if I had symptoms such as yellow eyes, then I might look up the symptoms hoping to bounce around until I arrive at a tentative diagnosis.