Baltimore-based Sickweather, a company that tracks illness, has launched a mobile app for the iPhone that alerts users in real-time when they enter what Sickweather deems a "sick zone." The zones are areas near reports of illness gathered from social media.
The company describes the "sick zone" mapping process as such: A user publicly posts a message on social media saying they have the flu. Sickweather then qualifies that report and plots it on a map. When a user with the Sickweather app travels near the area, they receive a notification.
“What users do at that point is up to them,” stated Graham Dodge, CEO & co-founder of Sickweather. "But ultimately we believe that the net effect of this new, real-time awareness will help reduce the spread of illness and reduce healthcare costs."
The company claims the app is the first of its kind. It uses Big Data from social media mixed with Apple iOS' notification center to deliver location-based health alerts in real-time.