Once again, Google knows us better than we know ourselves. For years, scientists have pointed to the search giant as a bellwether for predicting flu outbreaks during the winter months as well as other health care episodes based on consumer search behavior. Now, researchers at Mayo Clinic says the same is true for COVID outbreaks, and they've identified 10 key Google search terms that can potentially predict an impending outbreak.

"Our study demonstrates that there is information present in Google Trends that precedes outbreaks, and with predictive analysis, this data can be used for better allocating resources with regards to testing, personal protective equipment, medications and more," says Mohamad Bydon, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon and principal investigator at Mayo's Neuro-Informatics Laboratory.

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is director, content analytics for ALM's Business & Finance Markets and former managing editor for BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she has spent the past decade writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.