A CHANGE IS GOING TO COME
Carnegie Mellon research suggests our view of COVID-19 is going to change with ‘digital surveillance’
The gathering of this data in real-time will eventually lead to what is called "nowcasting,"a practice that has evolved over the past decade as a way to get around the slow pace of which epidemiological data is accumulated. The COVID-19 team at Delphi has been perfecting nowcasting for eight years to predict seasonal influenza on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control.
Their approach for influenza relied on reported cases passed along from health care providers. This data, labeled ILINet, is a week old, meaning the patients that doctors see are not reported until the Friday of the following week.
The Delphi team developed nowcasting as a way to fuse real-time data such as Google search data about how many people search for symptoms of flu. Using a statistical approach, they amplify what the medical reports are saying by folding in what the real-time reports say.