In today’s New York Times is a story about how are being used to to track disease outbreaks.
“Now technology is democratizing the disease-hunting process, upsetting the old equilibrium by connecting people through channels effectively outside government control. While the online chatter can be unproductive or even dangerous — spreading fear along with misinformation about causes and cures — a growing cadre of epidemiologists sees social media as a boon. Future hunts for pathogens may rely as heavily on Twitter streams and odd clusters of search queries as on blood tests and personal histories. “