Posts Tagged 'Influenza'

Infulenza tracking project

Not too long till now until I start working on the project to try and track influenza through blog posts. I’ve updated the project page to include a link to my proposal for a few more details, I’ll hopefully update that properly once my exams are over.

The recent swine flu will also bring some interesting points to the project, like that fact I’ve just searched for the spelling now so how does Google know that? There has been a bigger buzz in the media, on blogs, and sites like twitter than relates to the actual spread of the disease which has been very quite slow and not that frequent, compared to the size of populations. Maybe a model of media news sources will also be needed to find what proportion of the noise on the web is really a flu signal.

I also found a site called DIYcity which started a project called SickCity a few months ago which they accelerated work on with the outbreak of swine flu. With this they try to track the trends of a range of illnesses over cites in the world, which as they found is a very hard task to do! I’m going to see if I can help them with their goals a bit as there aims overlap quite a bit with my summer project, and it would be nice to have some use-able data for people at the end of it. We’ll see where things go once I start working in June, stay tuned.

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Disease trends and blog posts

The project for my M.Sc. this summer is going to be about tracking disease trends through blog posts. This will mostly likely be tracking Influenza as it is the most common disease each year and has readily available data, especially in the US, though I hope to include the UK and other countries if I can too. I’m not sure how reliable or accurate this is going to be, but there’s only one way to find out.

Tracking disease trends through indirect measurements is starting to become quite an interesting area in research. The internet has a vast number of users and small lag time between events and publication which makes projects such as Google Flu possible to accurately predict trends faster than direct means.

New social and conversational websites such as Twitter and Facebook also bring a lot more data directly posted from users in an almost real time basis that could improve disease tracking even more if the data is use in the right way. With website like these still being quite closed with their data for commercial, privacy, and technical issues it is still away off before researchers can go further with this.

I’m going to post my progress on this blog as the project develops to try and be as open with this research as possible with the hope that it can be applied to other sources of data than I have access to.

 


About Me

I'm a student at Edinburgh University studying Artificial Intelligence. Find out more about me and my projects on my website

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