New technology would alert doctors to outbreaks

September 19, 2011 2:34:17 PM PDT
When your child comes down with a bug that everyone else has, does it seem like the doctor's office is the last to know? Harvard University researchers say it is not your imagination.

Doctors rarely know what illnesses are brewing in the neighborhood until their waiting rooms are full.

Giving doctors the heads up could make a difference.

A recent study at Children's Hospital Boston finds that knowing how much strep throat is circulating can help improve the accuracy of the next patient's diagnosis.

Work is beginning on websites and technology that could give doctors the real time scoop through electronic health records or even mobile apps.