[music playing]>>Welcome to Google Flu Trends. Today, we’re
going to show you how Google Flu Trends works. Google Flu Trends uses aggregated search data
to estimate flu activity in near real time. Millions of people search for health information
online. As you can imagine, there are more flu related
searches during flu season and we found that certain search trends are good indicators
of actual flu activity. We collaborated with the US Centers for Disease
Control, or CDC, to help us create Google Flu Trends for the US.
For example, the past five years’ flu seasons might have looked like this.
We then look at the popularity of individual search queries over this time period.
Using this method, we identified search queries that matched well with CDC’s data.
Google Flu Trends is updated in near real time.
For instance, on this date, Google Flu Trends detected a significant increase in flu activity.
CDC reported the same increase two weeks later. For some countries, like Mexico, we don’t
have official historic data to work from. Instead, we look for flu related search queries
that appear to have a seasonal curve. Since these estimates have not been compared
with official historic flu data, we label them “experimental.”
Personal search data remains safe and private. We do not use personal health records or personally
identifiable data to create our estimates. Our graphs are produced by an automated formula
that looks at aggregated data from millions of searches done on Google over time.
An important aspect of Google Flu Trends is that we filter out terms that may be popular
because people hear about them in the news. Google Flu Trends compliments existing flu
surveillance tools. Earlier detection of flu activity allows public
health officials and the public to make more informed decisions.
For official information about flu activity, prevention, and treatment please visit your
national or local health resource. [music resumes] Check out Google Flu Trends.