This Tool Uses Facebook Data To Predict Possible Coronavirus Outbreaks

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Researchers on Monday unveiled a coronavirus “heat map” powered by Facebook data. It aims at helping track the spread of the disease and a plan for reopening society.

The Carnegie Mellon University project offers “real-time indications of COVID-19” according to a university statement.

The map was developed with millions of responses to surveys of Facebook and Google users as part of an effort to monitor the spread of the virus.

Facebook Data Tool To Predict Possible Coronavirus Outbreaks

“As the world fights COVID-19 and countries develop plans to reopen their societies, it’s critical to have a clear understanding of how the disease is spreading,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page and in the Washington Post.

Facebook aims to help researchers and health authorities get the information they need about the Coronavirus. Consequently, they want to respond to the outbreak and start planning for the recovery.

Carnegie Mellon researchers said they are receiving about one million responses per week from Facebook users. Similarly, they have also got about 600,000 responses from Google users.

The researchers will monitor changes over time. This will enable them to forecast COVID-19 activity several weeks into the future. They will then research users responses to Facebook surveys about symptoms people are experiences.

“The survey asked people if they have symptoms such as fevers, coughing or shortness of breath ,” Zuckerberg said.

This survey can help forecast how many cases hospitals will see in the days ahead. It will also hopefully provide an early indicator of where the outbreak is growing.

The heat map is currently available for the United States. It will also be available globally with help from the University of Maryland research teams.

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