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Saturday, January 30, 2021

Detecting Flu-Like Illness with Behavior

Quite a considerable idea, depending on accuracy.    It appears the data from  is anonymous and thus private,  Similar to a proposal we outlined, never implemented, which aimed to determined the 'mode'  (searching, seeking, examining, considering, reconsidering, buying ... ) of a shopper while walking around in a store.

 Anonymous Cellphone Data Can Quantify Behavioral Changes for Flu-Like Illnesses

Emory University, Carol Clark, January 26, 2021

A study by Emory University computer scientists found cellphone data routinely collected by telecommunications providers can expose behavioral changes in people diagnosed with flu-like illnesses, while also shielding their anonymity. In partnership with an Icelandic cellphone service provider and public health officials, the Emory team analyzed data for more than 90,000 encrypted phone numbers, constituting about 25% of Iceland's population. The researchers were allowed to link the encrypted cellphone metadata to 1,400 anonymous individuals diagnosed with a flu-like illness during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak. Individuals receiving a flu-like diagnosis changed their cellphone usage behavior an average of one day pre-diagnosis and two to four days afterward, making fewer calls from fewer unique locations and spending more time than usual on calls made the day following diagnosis. Emory's Ymir Vigfusson said, "Our work contributes to the discussion of what kinds of anonymous data lineages might be useful for public health monitoring purposes."

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