If you've ever wanted to track an influenza outbreak as the cold, wet winter months roll by, try asking Google instead of the health department. At the first sign of a sniffle, people now regularly turn to the web for a diagnosis and treatment, giving the search engine the ability to monitor the spread of the virus through such simple techniques as someone entering the words "flu symptoms".
It's just one of the ways the internet is changing the delivery and management of health care and it's not just about patients haranguing their doctors with information they gleaned online.
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