The search engine Google claims to be able to predict flu waves. As the? With the evaluation of search queries. The more people google terms related to flu, the closer the next flu wave approaches.
It almost sounds a little scary: a search engine predicts flu waves. On closer inspection, however, the Google method turns out to be not so absurd. Based on the frequency with which Internet users enter flu-related search terms into the search engine, the operators want to determine how many people feel sick with the flu and, as a result, how close the next waves of flu are. In addition, the search engine sorts the flu searches by region. The requests can be classified geographically using the IP addresses of the various computers. This should make it possible to forecast flu waves based on their regional occurrence. The search engine’s flu wave predictions have been compared to data collected over the past few years and appear to be very closely matched. Google also emphasizes that the anonymity of the users is preserved. It is not necessary to use personal data to evaluate the search queries.