Several Purdue students have teamed with data company Perscio to create an app that will predict how many people will go to the doctor for the flu up to five days in advance.
Based on an algorithm that uses CDC data, travel patterns, social media posts about the flu and other factors, a map is created to show predicted trends for the entire US, county by county. The information could be helpful for hospitals, parents and teachers as well as many others.
“How valuable could this be if you had an early warning five days in advance of potential influenza? It could mean the world to high risk populations,” stated Brian Norris, chief informatics officer at Perscio.
Hospitals could have advance warning for when to enforce visitor restrictions, and pharmacies may be able to stock up on supplies such as Tamiflu.
“People can look and say ‘Wow, the flu is about to become big. Maybe I should prep for this,’ and actually save lives,” said Alec McGail, Perscio.
The team has entered the app in IBM’s Big Data Social Good Challenge. If the project gets the most votes, Purdue will win $20,000 to help fund other innovative projects. For more information about the app and to vote for it in the contest, click here.
Source: WISH TV