Influenza Forecasting with Google Flu Trends

Andrea F. Dugas, Mehdi Jalalpour, Yulia Gel, Scott Levin, Fred Torcaso, Takeru Igusa, Richard Rothman


We sought to develop a practical influenza forecast model, based on real-time, geographically focused, and easy to access data, to provide individual medical centers with advanced warning of the number of influenza cases, thus allowing sufficient time to implement an intervention. Secondly, we evaluated how the addition of a real-time influenza surveillance system, Google Flu Trends, would impact the forecasting capabilities of this model. The final model selection demonstrated that autoregression of influenza cases provides a strong base forecast model, which is enhanced by the addition of Google Flu Trends confirming the predictive capabilities of search query based syndromic surveillance.

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Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 *