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.
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Details emerge of two young Iranians using stolen passports in search for a better life
Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete's friend asked him if 'he was f***ing mad' after shooting through sunroof
Oscar Pistorius trial: Forensic analyst says athlete 'was not wearing prosthetic legs' when he shot Reeva Steenkamp through locked door
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
- 2 Boy George: Bad karma
- 3 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 4 First Kiss video: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 5 Ian Wright breaks down in ITV documentary charting his rise to Arsenal and England striker
Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Corporate Commercial Solicitor - City of London We...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education B...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cardiff: Randstad Education Cardiff are current...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cardiff: Randstad Education are currently seeki...