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The Power of Two

Sneezing Electronics

Published May 6, 2014 2:09 PM by Eleanor Wolfram

Just when I was beginning to think the electronic industry had exhausted every task that a computer could do…I uncovered another surprising feat. Now it seems that computers can predict sneezes.

Annually, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention release comprehensive alerts and reports regarding seasonal influenza (flu) and vaccines. This information is released so that persons at high risk of serious flu illnesses can be swiftly and appropriately treated. And it must be helpful because in December 2013, the CDC estimated that vaccinations that were administered during the year prevented more than 6.6 million illnesses and 79,000 hospitalizations.


Electronic information already plays a role in educating the public through iOS and Android applications. The CDC developed theses apps for clinicians and health are professionals to easy access to the latest recommendations. Updates can be accessed on the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or Android devices.

Computer Model

The disciplines of physics and information technology have also created an information pool of flu data. It appears that a recent innovation is a computer model that has the capability of predicting the evolution of the influenza virus strains. According to the joint research efforts of Columbia University and University of Cologne researchers, this electronic model can systematically predict the which pathogen will evolve from one year to the next.

All of the flu data from both the CDC and the two universities are extremely valuable, in that this pre-knowledge is valuable in that it will allow healthcare professionals to select vaccine medications for certain influenza strain.

posted by Eleanor Wolfram


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