Sickweather has launched the first major update to its iPhone app that was released last November and alerts users in real-time when they enter sick zones: Areas where illnesses are reported on social media. This remains the only app of it’s kind to combine disease surveillance from social media with Apple iOS’s geofencing and local notification technologies, to serve real-time Sick Zone alerts. The latest version adds an element of crowdsourcing, allowing users to report illnesses directly and anonymously to the Sickweather map.
When someone publicly posts ‘My kids have strep’ on Facebook or Twitter, Sickweather qualifies that report using a patent-pending process and then plots it on a map. When a Sickweather user travels near that report (whether they are dropping kids off at school or traveling for business) they will get a real-time alert on their iPhone warning them of their proximity to strep throat, effectively making Sickweather the Doppler radar for sickness.
“With this new version, Sickweather is like the Foursquare for sickness” says Graham Dodge, CEO of Sickweather. “When someone checks-in their symptoms with us, not only is their report anonymously mapped for their community to be alerted, but it is also logged to their own ‘My Reports Map’ which can be used to track when and where they’ve been sick, or have come in contact with others who are sick.”
In turn, Sickweather can include heatlhcare advertisers in the feedback loop by serving ads that target symptoms that the users report or view on the map. Sickweather currently offers two categories of ad units: Symptom Targeted Ads and Sponsored Map Markers. Several companies (from OTC brands like Cold-EEZE and Sambucol to telemedicine companies like CareSimple) have been working with Sickweather during their beta testing phase to try out the Symptom Targeted Ads on the website. The launch of the new iOS app includes Sponsored Map Markers for the first time. Companies participating with Sponsored Map Markers include Righttime Medical Care in Maryland and Colonial Family Practice in South Carolina.
The new Sickweather app is available in the App Store as a free download here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sickweather/id741036885?mt=8
About Sickweather: Sickweather, a Baltimore-based company, provides online reports and an iPhone app that scans social networks for indicators of illness, and maps real time data on more than 23 different symptoms and illnesses. Sickweather launched their beta website in November 2011, and now qualifies over 600,000 reports of illness each month. In 2012, they were recognized among “100 Brilliant Companies” by Entrepreneur Magazine and featured on the Today Show for successfully identifying the early start of the 2012 Flu Season 6 weeks before the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Sickweather launched their first iPhone app in November 2013, which was featured in Apple’s App Store as a “Best New App” in the Health & Fitness category. In 2014, Sickweather was accepted into the “Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator powered by Techstars” in Kansas City, MO, where they are currently operating until mid-June 2014. For more information, please visit: http://www.sickweather.com