Flu Trackers Encourage Patients to Blog About It

washingtonpost…from The Washington Post

“Think you have the flu? In some places, you can now go directly to the Internet and report your symptoms to officials eager to spot outbreaks.

“Say you feel sick, but before you see a doctor you search the Web for information, or blog or Twitter about the flu. Your worries will be detected by companies prowling the Internet for disease trends.

“If you actually come down with the flu, and the doctors want to know who you’ve been in physical contact with, your trusty cellphone could soon tell them.

“And someday, scientists hope, this “infodemiology” might help forecast and track a flu epidemic the way experts monitor the weather. ”