Social media, web queries not ready as disease surveillance tools

A new study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research chronicles the evolution of using social media/Internet queries for disease surveillance, finding that "while their accuracy, speed, and cost compare favorably with existing surveillance systems, the primary challenge is to refine the data signal by reducing surrounding noise." The study calls for further developments in digital disease surveillance, which will  have the potential to improve "sensitivity and specificity."

The study found that 32 primary research articles and 19 reviews and case studies were identified as relevant for assessing disease surveillance on social media and through web queries. Study