As the flu season gets underway, Google has repurposed it’s GoogleTrends tool to monitor the searches run on the flu and flu symptoms. Using the close association between flu searches and people with the flu, Google Flu Trends will light up a color-coded map of the US. There is a neat explanation, comparing last year’s flu searches with the CDC data, and there is certainly similar ebbs and flows.
Very cool tool. Now…. if only they could actually improve the efficacy of the flu shot.