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Why isn't Google launching global self-reporting capability on corona virus ? 5 Recommended Answers 12 Replies 163 Upvotes
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Self-reporting symptoms and conditions could provide an alternative view to the overwise limited testing capability and show dynamics of the spread development.
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Hi, Penelope,

You are absolutely right that self-reporting is not reliable. No single data point ever is. 

As somebody who works with mass amounts of social data I can attest to tremendous value and reliability of "big numbers". While naturally noisy (for the reasons you've mentioned), it can be "cleansed" via many existing data processing methods. Credible statistical knowledge of self-reported symptoms and their change over time is one type of data input that epidemiologists seem to be missing today. It cannot replace other methods, but it has a potential to supplement them. Typically traditional medical testing is "trailing" the reality - sometimes by a large margin. So knowing the real scope in near real time could be of tremendous value.

Also, during corona virus pandemic reporting other (similar) illnesses can be critical as the outcome differs dramatically with multiple conditions overlapping each other. 

I do agree with you that no self reporting should be used as a basis for specific actions such as diagnostics of person's condition or acting upon it. The idea here is about accumulation of knowledge about the disease on a mass scale.
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The idea is surely to keep a simple self assessment of my level of certainly that I have had the virus at a certain time, which can change over time.  Do this on a mass scale triggered by any covid related search.This can be useful for mass data analysis or especially to correlate against location, contact number and against specific antibody tests. Google is surely in a unique position to offer value here
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