Google is using search patterns about dengue fever in an attempt to help health officials prepare for outbreaks.

It hopes to develop an early-warning system by monitoring dengue-related search terms by users in Bolivia, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Singapore.

Google said that its results are collected in real-time, whereas official data can take weeks to be analysed.

Google Dengue Trends is automatically updated every day, thereby providing an early indicator of dengue activity.”

The project was developed together with Boston’s Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

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