Mayo Clinic says Covid-19 predicting tool can tell where pandemic’s going next

bigstock Developing Programmer Team Dev 286010332 - Mayo Clinic says Covid-19 predicting tool can tell where pandemic's going nextOct. 15, 2020 (Courtesy of the Jacksonville Business Journal)

Mayo Clinic is launching a Covid-19 forecasting website that it says has already proven itself in spotting pandemic hot spots before they hit hospitals.

The dashboard from Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo uses government-issued numbers, data culled from millions of Google searches and the clinic’s own algorithms to spot trends on a county-by-county basis.

A surge of internet searches for thermometers or Covid-19 tests in a particular county, for example, could serve as a warning that cases might be spiking there.

Mayo officials, who have been using the product ahead of a soft launch, said that the software correctly predicted surges near the clinic’s campuses in Florida and Arizona. That enabled the health system to prepare its hospitals for an increase in patients.

The dashboard is online already, though it only includes current data at the moment. Forecasts are expected to be added soon.

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