Web searches for symptoms of HIV, MRSA and flu strains will be monitored to spot outbreaks of infections
Sunday 12 May 2013
British scientists plan to harness the power of the internet to catch outbreaks of killer infections before they spread.
The researchers will use online surveillance to monitor millions of web searches where people have looked up symptoms related to conditions such as HIV, MRSA or dangerous strains of flu.
They say this will help them to locate in “real time” exactly where the next epidemic is emerging. It is hoped that this will “revolutionise” Britain’s ability to respond to deadly infections and prevent millions of deaths.
The £17million government-funded Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC) centre, where the technologies will be advanced, is expected to be operational by October.
The Health Protection Agency currently relies on medical testing which can take up to two weeks to determine where an outbreak is happening.
Dr Rachel McKendry, from UCL, said online tracking of infectious diseases could identify epidemics before patients even visit a doctor.
She said it is “crucial” the online surveillance be linked to the mobile testing being developed at the IRC to be used in GP surgeries and even care homes.
“In a single visit someone can be diagnosed, get the result and get treatment,” said Dr McKendry.
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Feminist quotes to inspire you on the International Women's Day
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
International Women's Day 2014: Mothers and daughters describe their hopes and dreams in touching photographs
Liam Neeson on death of wife Natasha Richardson: ‘When I hear the door opening, I still think I’m going to hear her’
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 4 Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...