Google Trends as a method to predict new COVID-19 cases

Author: Tado Jurić

Knowing that "googling" is an activity that individuals take first to find answers to many questions, including health, Google has managed to create an extremely useful database for monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. In this paper, we present the results of testing a method on the example of the Republic of Croatia that enables the detection and prediction of new cases of COVID-19 at an early stage, using the analytical tool Google Trends (GT). The main benefit of the proposed approach is reflected in the timely detection of new locations and hotspots of pandemic spread. Such detection can redirect public health resources promptly and enable act preventively in the further spread of the infection, for example by introducing additional measures in a certain area.

Key words:
COVID-19; Croatia; Google; Google Trends; pandemic spread forecasting