A new smartphone app gives users real-time reports of illnesses and symptoms of people in their area.
Open the Sickweather app and you’ll see common cold, cough and fevers are currently trending in Spartanburg and Greenville.
“Sickweather is like a WAZE app for sickness,” said CEO Graham Dodge.
Dodge says to track illnesses the app relies on information is gathers from public social media post and reports made to the app. It complies the data into easy to digest maps and lists, to let users know what’s trending around them.
The app takes it a step further with a feature that shows the risk of catching a trending disease. The threat level is measured on a scale from 1 to 100 and is based on location and population size.
Dodge says consumers are using the app almost like a pre-diagnosis tool.
“It seems to give people some peace of mind that what they are experiencing isn’t necessarily Ebola or something life-threatening,” he told 7News.
The data is also used to forecast outbreaks up to 15 week in advance, so it’s helping companies narrow in on places they should send life-saving medication.
“If they can know in advance where to send more of one product to a pharmacy in one location, rather than another pharmacy in a different location, that saves them a lot of time and money.” Dodge said.
Dodge tells 7News parents may find the groups component the most valuable tool.
“That’s especially helpful for day cares and schools, so all the parents can be notified at the same time when others are reporting something like hand, foot and mouth disease or chicken pox,” Dodge told 7News.
App developers released an update following Florence destruction. It’s an SMS text-based system to provide illness reporting for affected areas when other data services go dark.