Googles In The Flu Business

November 12, 2008

Google just launched their new project Google Flu Trends

It’s a hot topic, CNN reported it, NY Times reported it

If your looking for details those are good places to start.

I wanted to point out the post I wrote about a month ago

A Global Health Surveillance System

It gives a little more of the background and who’s involved with this project.

I want to say upfront there isn’t anything wrong or bad this type of technology. It’s a huge breakthrough in technology.

It’s how you use it that matters. I hope in the future the technology isn’t used to infringe on people’s individual civil liberties., say in the form of collecting person information and even creating personal data bases.

At the moment it seems to be open source and transparent, you can even downland the raw data yourself from their site.


A Global Health Surveillance System

October 25, 2008

My interest was peaked by this story, Kids targeted for flu vaccinations in U.S. in which they state

for the first time vaccination is being pushed for virtually all children in the U.S.

Harvard researchers collected data over 4 winters, one of the co-author’s John Brownstein says”The impact of kids and the flu is clear, It doesn’t mean the areas without kids are protected from flu. It just means they experience flu later and at lower rates.”

I found it very interesting that this year, the U.S. government is recommending that children from age six months to 18 years be vaccinated — expanding inoculations to 30 million more school-age children. While they seldom get as sick as the younger tots, it’s a bigger population that catches flu at higher rates, so the change should at least cut missed school and work.

I find it interesting that the government is taking such a interest in giving 6 month olds the Flu vaccination. I hate to point out that the Flu vaccine is one vaccination were thermisol was never taken out of, and by giving a six month old a flu shot, you are injecting massive amounts of toxins into their immune system.

But  what caught my eye the most wasn’t that line, it was the last line in the story.

Brownstein’s next study, paid for by the government, will track the community impact of vaccinating more school-age children.

I thought why would the government be interested in tracking community impacts of vaccinating, and exactly what project is John Brownstein working on. That lead me to here. An overall profile of John Brownstein.

Dr. Brownstein works on novel statistical modeling and medical informatics approaches for accelerating the translation of public health surveillance research.

He’s leading a health surveillance project called  HealthMap.org, an internet-based global infectious disease intelligence system. There are a lot of interesting things about health map, that I won’t go into now. But doing a google search I found this. Half way down the page under the Funding header, it says

a research grant from Google.org

Needless to say I was curious why google is funding health map, and how much they are giving Brownstein, so I went to google.org and looked under grants and investments. The third one down under predict and prevent is.

Children’s Hospital Boston supporting HealthMap and ProMED-mail: $3 million multi-year grant to combine HealthMap’s digital detection efforts with ProMED-mail’s global network of human, animal, and ecosystem health specialists.

I’m not trying to start something or spread fear about what Brownstein is doing. I was just curious and wanted the whole story and did a little research to get a bigger view. He has Harvard, Google, Government, and World Health Organization contacts and is working on a global health surveillance system. I feel confident people will make their own conclusion.

Oh and you can find him at the childrens Hospital site by googling John Brownstein. the first link that comes up is “CHIP :: people“. Of course thats a reference to Childrens Hospital Informatics Program, and not chipping people for a global health surveillance system, it just happens to be a coincident.


Another Move on The Internet

August 29, 2008
August 28, 2008

Comcast has announced they will Cap users ability to download and upload to the Internet.

On Oct. 1, the cable company will update its user agreement to say that users will be allowed 250 gigabytes of traffic per month

I do realize this is a large amount of traffic, far more then the average user,  who uses less then 3 gigabytes a month. But what about the long term?

We are suppose to see a switch to a Super Fast Internet in the next 2 to 3 years. Where you can send the entire Rolling Stones Music catalog half way around the world in 2 seconds.

So this move by Comcast and other Internet Provides like Time Warner to Cap usages, just feels like they are trying to get in before the curve, where content becomes freely accessible.

What happens when people stop watching TV and only download or stream shows online?

How Could this effect the itunes Store, who everyday is growing into a more global dominated media company.

Comcast has said that they will monitor Internet users trafficc, and if they have to will ask it’s users to stop

Customers who go over the limit are contacted by the company and asked to curb their usage.

Nothing like Big Brother watching you


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