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Disease Outbreak Detection Using Search Keywords Patterns

10 pagesPublished: March 9, 2020


In the recent years, people are becoming more dependent on the Internet as their main source of information about healthcare. A number of research projects in the past few decades examined and utilized the internet data for information extraction in healthcare including disease surveillance and monitoring. In this paper, we investigate and study the potential of internet data like internet search keywords and search query patterns in the healthcare domain for disease monitoring and detection. Specifically, we investigate search keyword patterns for disease outbreak detection. Accurate prediction and detection of disease outbreaks in a timely manner can have a big positive impact on the entire health care system. Our method utilizes machine learning in identifying interesting patterns related to target disease outbreak from search keyword logs. We conducted experiments on the flu disease, which is the most searched disease in the interest of this problem. We showed examples of keywords that can be good predictors of outbreaks of the flu. Our method proved that the correlation between search queries and keyword trends are truly reliable in the sense that it can be used to predict the outbreak of the disease.

Keyphrases: Disease monitoring and surveillance, Disease outbreak detection, Google Trends

In: Gordon Lee and Ying Jin (editors). Proceedings of 35th International Conference on Computers and Their Applications, vol 69, pages 362--371

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Izzat Alsmadi and Zaid Almubaid and Hisham Al-Mubaid},
  title     = {Disease Outbreak Detection Using Search Keywords Patterns},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of 35th International Conference on Computers and Their Applications},
  editor    = {Gordon Lee and Ying Jin},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Computing},
  volume    = {69},
  pages     = {362--371},
  year      = {2020},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2398-7340},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/z8tp}}
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