One of the most amazing things about social networking is the sheer amount of information that is out there. People comment about where they are, what they are eating, where they are shopping, and what they are watching. Companies have been using this media to better target their audience, as well as getting feedback on their products and services. Now we may be able to use this mass of information to help avoid getting sick.
Sickweather uses social media to track keywords like bronchitis or stomach flu in association with location tags to generate a sort of weather map of sickness in your area. The obvious direct impact is that you can better see when sickness is infiltrating your circle of friends so that you can avoid them until the sickness passes. That means you may skip out on a BBQ and thus stay healthy. By stopping the spread of illness in small circles we prevent the spread of disease in large groups as well.
While they don’t appear to be targeting larger organizations like the CDC to help combat disease, they would be crazy to not use this information on a bigger scale. That may very well be in the long term plans at Sickweather once they have proof of concept, as they are still only in beta testing at this point.
For more information, and to sign up to be a beta tester you can visit their website at www.sickweather.com.