Social Media Tools Help Fight The Flu
Here are some things to add to the flu shot.
If you're wondering why doctors have yet to find a cure for the flu, it's because they still haven't be able to catch up to it. As the flu spreads, it also mutates, making the data that doctors are able to compile obsolete by the day.
But now, doctors and employers alike are turning to social media tools to try and get ahead of the flu this season. Here are five CDC-suggested tools for track and battling the flu.
Google Flu Trends: Google Flu Trends provides “near real-time estimates” of flu activity for 29 countries on the national and regional level. It crunches flu-related search data, comparing it against a historic baseline level of flu activity data provided by national centers for disease control.
DIZIE: DIZIE taps into Twitter API data to analyze and chart tweets from people describing their illnesses. DIZIE has a global map, zeroing in on tweets from users in 43 cities around the world. Changes in the number of tweets can be used to quickly discover potential disease outbreaks.
MappyHealth: MappyHealth analyzes more than 5.2 million tweets that match one of 27 health conditions, from gastroenteritis to influenza to STDs. The site features a scrolling disease ticker that tells you the daily swings in chatter around these ailments and breaks out the top 20 cities where complaints are running highest.
HealthMap: HealthMap uses online news aggregators, eyewitness reports, expert-curated discussions, and validated official reports to map the spread of infectious disease outbreaks. It is also available as a mobile app, Outbreaks Near Me.
Flu Near You: FluNearYou has over 44,000 registered users who have agreed to complete weekly surveys about their health condition to build a vast database for health-care officials to more accurately track community-by-community flu outbreaks before, during, and after they hit.