“The United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Every day, over 100 people die from opioid overdoses, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But what if we could know about overdoses before they happen?
Scientists in California have opened the possibility of having such preemptive knowledge by creating a model that uses Google searches to predict overdoses from heroin. Their research, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence in September and reported on this week in Scientific American, shows that Google searches for certain drugs, including slang terms, can be used to explain heroin-related visits to hospitals.”
Source: QZ.com – December 9, 2018