Sickweather has launched a mobile app for the iPhone (free, App Store) that will send a push notification to your iPhone when you enter a sick zone: areas near reports of illness gathered from social media. It's the first app of its kind to leverage big data from social media, along with Apple iOS's geofencing and notification technologies, to serve health alerts.
Here's how it works:
When someone publicly posts 'Ugh, I have the flu' on Twitter or Facebook, Sickweather qualifies that report using a patent-pending process and then plots it on a map. When a Sickweather app user travels near that report (whether they are dropping kids off at school, traveling for the holidays, or stopping in their favorite cafe for a cup of coffee) they will get a real-time alert notification on their phone warning them of their proximity to flu.
Sickweather 1.0 for iOS 7 allows you to view reports of up to 23 different symptoms and illnesses on a map, as well as four groups of illnesses related to Respiratory, Gastrointestinal, Environmental, and Childhood illnesses. The core feature is the ability to activate alerts for each of those illnesses to monitor for ‘sick zones’ as you travel throughout your day.
How you act up the information is up to you, of course. Graham Dodge, CEO & co-founder of Sickweather, notes that the Sickweather app "could prompt you to wash your hands, get a vaccine, buy medication, or take other preventive measures to boost your immune system." Dodge hopes that the real-time awareness generated from his app will help reduce the spread of illness and reduce healthcare costs.