schliz writes "US researchers believe that data from sources including discussion forums and news websites can help them better cope with outbreaks of disease. The team from the Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School has launched an automated data-gathering system called HealthMap to collate, organize and disseminate this online intelligence.
The team argues that online information can be hugely valuable to medical professionals by helping with early event detection. The data can also support 'situational awareness' by providing current and local information about outbreaks."
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