Researchers have been developing ways to spot the signs of chicken pox outbreaks using a search engine.
Scientists at the University of Aberdeen have used Google to predict when certain parts of the world will experience a chicken pox epidemic.
They used trends data from the search engine.
A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that Google data trends are effective in tracking the chicken pox outbreaks.
The research group, which included Dr Tyler Stevenson from the University of Aberdeen, discovered that people Google chicken pox frequently during chicken pox epidemics, which allowed the team made up of academics from the Universities of Glasgow, Michigan and Princeton University, to pinpoint when epidemics occur.
Dr Stevenson said: “This research provides a powerful and novel method to examine the global seasonality of chicken pox, and provides initial evidence of similar patterns for other childhood infectious diseases.”