Mapping Sickness Trends Web 2.0 Style

I don’t know of anyone that would disagree with the notion that the health care industry is dramatically behind other industries on their use of technology. I think the major key is that most health care people see themselves as a necessary part of society and not as a business entity. Let’s be honest. If you need an operation or if you’re sick do you really have a choice not to do it? No, you go to the hospital and get it done. I think this contributes to health care’s lack of technology use.

I did recently get an email of someone who’s trying to embrace some of the latest “Web 2.0” technologies to help with health care. It’s called Who is Sick? It’s a pretty interesting notion of being able to track various sicknesses as they break out throughout the country.

The best part of the website is a google mashup of sicknesses. It’s pretty fun to click around and see what’s happened. Unless of course you don’t live in a major city. I live in Las Vegas, a reasonably large city, and there were only 2 sicknesses listed. The site is in beta. I think that the site’s attempt to have forums is not going to work well. I think they should focus on aggregating health information. The user submitted health information is good, but I don’t think it’s going to be enough to sustain them.

If this site really wants to take off then it needs to start contacting all the EMR companies that it can find. It needs to create relationships, do profit sharing or something with each of those EMR companies so that they can suck the data directly out of the EMR and into the Who is Sick? database. It’s the only way I think the website can get enough critical mass to be successful.

If the site does create a relationship with some of the large EMR vendors like eMDs or ECW, then I think this website could be on to something special.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • I think you have some really good points – most of which I agree with.

    Partnering with EMR sites would be fantastic – we just wanted to get some initial traction before approaching them. Going to them with nothing doesn’t put us in a very good bargaining position

    In terms of limited data, you are definitely right. I only launched about 2 weeks ago so very few people know about the site. Hopefully with blogs like yours, word will spread. Whether this is enough to sustain it, I don’t know. Either way, getting some traction will put us in a better position to talk with the EMR guys.



  • If you run out of money for hosting the site (or even if you have money for it) you might consider taking a look at Cambrian House and creating a project out of this idea. You retain 100% ownership of the idea and they are planning on giving free hosting and other project management tools at least for the time being. Plus, you could get some interesting community involvement to help create the site. It’s a different way of creating a site, but much less risk to you. I have a couple sites on there and I’m really enjoying the experience.

    Best of luck.

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