Get ahead of flu season with new app that uses social media to track illness

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(October 15, 2015) – Flu season is upon us. So it’s just a matter of time before sneezing, sore throats and muscle pain afflict thousands of people.

But there is a way to get ahead of it. Just go to Sickweather.com!

Graham Dodge invented it, right after he fell ill.

“A few years ago, I was sick with a stomach virus and I just wanted to know if something was going around,” said Doge.

Dodge turned to Facebook and realized that a number of his friends were reporting symptoms too.

It became clear that he could use social media to track certain illnesses.

“We have successfully identified flu outbreaks six weeks or more ahead of the Centers for Disease Control,” says Dodge.

Dodge mines his data from social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. It’s perfectly legal and there’s no hacking involved.

The information he gleans is geotagged, mapped and users can see, in real time, what is headed their way.

“We’re more concerned about giving that early warning to parents and caregivers so they can simply know if strep or flu is being reported. Families can proceed with their daily lives,” says Dodge.

Dodge says he’s confident his data is accurate. In fact he says it’s as good as information coming out of the CDC. “We know that Twitter’s flu data has about a .96 correlation out of a perfect 1.0 to the CDC’s influenza data.”

Sickweather also provides a threat assessment if you download the app.

“We can measure all the contagious illnesses reported around you and give you sort of a threat level index of what your risk of getting those illnesses might be,” says Dodge

The one illness Sickweather doesn’t track is depression.

This post is sponsored by American Senior Communities.

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