Role Of Technology In Tracking A Potential COVID Hotspot. Coronavirus has remained a hot topic in and around the world for approximately 7 months. Ignoring the conspiracy theories and the blame game that the nations are playing with each other, COVID 19 is a legitimate threat to humanity. With no known cure and a vaccine doubtful in the foreseeable future, the only way to protect oneself comes down to prevention. Such is the gravity of the pandemic situation.
Role Of Google In The Mission Of “Prevention” Of COVID 19 Causing Virus:
The unofficial king of data collection and data prediction is Google. And this feature of Google has come to aid the world suffering from this deadly pandemic causing novel coronavirus. Apart from providing with the latest news of the virus-like vaccine updates, country-wise breakdown of COVID cases, etc., Google has successfully used it’s technological advancement to humanity’s advantage.
According to a survey, Google can predict the next potential coronavirus hotspot. This is not the first time that the search engine has been used to predict the next possible outbreak location. This powerful tool has been already used to track influenza.
Let Us Learn How Google Is Predicting The Possible COVID 19 Hotspot:
A US study has successfully discovered a correlation. It is between the search of specific ailments on Google to the developments of COVID hotspots within a month’s gap. Analyzing the data collected from January to April this year (2020), Massachusetts General Hospital had found that when there was a spike in searches for gastrointestinal symptoms, a COVID hotspot emerged in the area weeks later.
In other areas from New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois and Massachusetts, a similar search trend on the loss of smell and taste on Google, ended with a discovery of a COVID hotspot at the location of the searches in the following three to four weeks.
What Is The Advantage Of This Search Tool?
In most of these cases, search words like “Why can’t I smell” etc. have almost perfectly matched the outbreak locations. Google declared these locations as hotspots approximately 14 days later. An idea of a possible hotspot even before the drastic spread of the virus would be a godsend to prevent the number of deaths caused by COVID by arresting it’s spread to vulnerable people. Survey of search words for Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea and loss of appetite have also yielded the same results. That is an accurate pinpoint of a potential COVID hotspot.
The results of this survey helps in curbing or at the least, helps authorities to equip and face the situation. Whether technology is a boon or a bane has been a topic of debate since decades. But considering the pandemic situation, it is a blessing in disguise. Powerful tools such as Google Trends have proven to be successful in data collection and prediction. Both are related to public health and other sensitive yet significant matters.