With the recent pandemic outbreak of COVID-19, the world has witnessed the need for advanced and effective methods to track the spread of infectious diseases. But researchers have been working on new ways to track infectious diseases for years.

Traditional methods of tracking the spread of infectious diseases involve gathering data from hospitals and clinics and analyzing it to monitor the number and spread of infections. However, these methods have proven to be slow and unreliable in the face of rapidly spreading pandemics like COVID-19. Consequently, new methods that can provide real-time data collection and analysis are required to help public health authorities make informed decisions.

Recent advancements in technology have made it easier to track the spread of infectious diseases in real-time. Researchers have used tools such as social media, mobile phones, and wearable devices, to collect data on the spread of diseases. By leveraging these technologies, researchers have been able to develop new and innovative ways to track the spread of infectious diseases around the world.

One such method involves the use of mobile phone data. Over the past few years, researchers have demonstrated that analyzing data from mobile phones can provide valuable information about the spread of infectious diseases. By analyzing the movements of people, researchers can track the spread of a disease and identify areas that are at high risk of infection.

The use of social media has also been a valuable tool in tracking the spread of infectious diseases. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram provide a wealth of information that can be analyzed to track the spread of diseases. Researchers have been using natural language processing (NLP) techniques to analyze social media posts to identify potential disease outbreaks. By monitoring what people are saying about their health and any related illnesses, researchers can obtain real-time information about the spread of diseases.

Another promising technique for tracking infectious diseases is through the use of wearable devices. Researchers have shown that wearable health devices such as fitness trackers and smartwatches can provide valuable data on health and disease outbreaks. For example, researchers have used data from Fitbit devices to predict flu outbreaks in certain regions. By analyzing data collected from these wearable devices, researchers can track the spread of a disease in real-time.

Moreover, researchers are using machine learning algorithms to analyze the collected data to identify the patterns and generate insights about the outbreak. In addition, these algorithms can be trained to predict the outbreak of diseases.

All these methods can be useful to track both contagious and non-contagious diseases. For instance, Diabetes is a non-contagious disease, but the number of people suffering from it is significantly rising. Using the aforementioned tools, researchers are keeping track of diabetes’ increasing prevalence, especially in the US, by analyzing social media posts.

Despite the potential benefits of these new methods, there are challenges that must be overcome for them to be effective. One of the biggest challenges is obtaining access to the necessary data. In many cases, data sets are incomplete, inaccurate or not easily accessible, making it difficult for researchers to develop comprehensive models.

Another challenge is ensuring that the privacy of individuals is protected. Data collected from mobile phones, social media, and wearable devices can be sensitive and personal. So, the data collected should be anonymized to protect individual privacy. Researchers have to take extra measures to ensure that the data is safe and secure to avoid any potential breaches of privacy.

In conclusion, the use of new and innovative methods to track the spread of infectious diseases has the potential to improve public health outcomes. By using technology, researchers can obtain real-time data and analyze the spread of diseases. This will enable public health authorities to take proactive measures to prevent the spread of diseases and protect the public. As we witnessed during the pandemic outbreak of the COVID-19, technology is an essential tool in the fight against infectious diseases, and we must continue to explore new and innovative ways to use it to track and prevent the spread of diseases.