CAM PoliticsInfection

Feeling ill? Google “flu”

The New York Times reports there’s “a new early warning system for fast-spreading flu outbreaks, called Google Flu Trends.”

It turns out that a lot of ailing Americans enter phrases like “flu symptoms” into Google and other search engines before they call their doctors.

Google will simply collect these searches and arrange them geographically. It will be faster than the reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and might speed the response of healthcare professionals to recognize and treat an outbreak of the flu in their area.

The bottom line?
I think it’s a great idea. And it’s legal.

Others, however, are concerned over Google establishing a “cozy relationship” with the federal government.

Hmm, heaven forbid we should help our government… to help us.

11/12/08 19:38 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.