Everyone’s talking about how Swine Flu will be more intense this chilly season. No one really knows how bad it’ll get, but the outbreaks have started and they’ll probably get worse as we come into colder weather. The good news is that you might be able to do something about it. A new iPhone app called “Outbreaks Near Me” harnesses the power of infectious disease tracker HealthMap.org to help track outbreaks near you.
Armed with GPS location information and HealthMap’s database of disease outbreaks, your iPhone can give you a heads-up on new outbreaks or even warn you when you enter into an outbreak area. And, as a collaborative effort between Boston Children’s Hospital and Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org, the Outbreak Near Me iPhone app is free to all.
The app allows the user to submit reports of new possible outbreaks (school closings, crowded emergency rooms, etc.), including photos of the situation. Clark Freifeld, co-founder of HealthMap, says there will be a hands-on review process to help screen for dubious reports. The exciting thing is that Feifeld doesn’t “know exactly what we’ll get” with all the user-submitted information.
Grab the app here. It’s free, and it just might help you stay healthy this winter. Or, at the very least, help others avoid the Swine Flu.
Outbreaks Near Me (iTunes link)