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  • Swine Flu iPhone App Goes Viral... Pun Intended

    Image via physorg.com


    Its not all fun and games on the iPhone. In fact, some things in life are quite serious. Arguably one of the greatest communicable threats to the general public this winter could be the Swine Flu. As a result, a new iPhone app can help keep you informed of where the illness is and also how it's expanding.

    To monitor the nearest outbreak of the pandemic H1N1 influenza, iTunes is introducing an app called: "Outbreaks Near Me."

    Although it may sound a little peculiar and like the ultimate hypochondriac's iPhone application, the program was developed by the IT wizards at Children's Hospital Boston and the MIT Media Lab. The app is free and allows users to monitor, track, and report outbreaks of Swine Flu in real time. Given the severity of the potential pandemic, the popularity of the app is growing faster than the illness itself.

    From Reuters:

    The application, "Outbreaks Near Me," builds upon the mission and proven capability of HealthMap, an online resource that collects, filters, maps and disseminates information about emerging infectious diseases, and provides a new, contextualized view of a user's specific location - pinpointing outbreaks that have been reported in the vicinity of the user and offering the opportunity to search for additional outbreak information by location or disease.
    At present, ITunes offers more than five dozen H1N1-related apps based on a variety of different services, including more light-hearted ones, like Swine-Flu games.

    Clark Freifeld, the co-founder of HealthMap, says the reporting process for HealthMap represents "grassroots, participatory epidemiology." It also illustrates, in my view, how technology made possible through devices like the iPhone will ultimately come to be more greatly appreciated for the potential lives it can save and not so frequently disparaged for the time it can also waste.

    HealthMap was founded in 2006 and mines the Internet - searching disparate data sources such as news reports, curated personal accounts, official alerts, blogs and chat rooms - to track and map infectious disease outbreaks.
    "Outbreaks Near Me" was developed with Google.org and is now available in the iTunes App Store.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Swine Flu iPhone App Goes Viral... Pun Intended started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 14 Comments
    1. FURBY8704's Avatar
      FURBY8704 -
      hahahaha oh wow >_<
    1. yhap2003's Avatar
      yhap2003 -
      Link to the app is here
      iTunes Store
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      Wow! This is almost as scary as the illness itself
    1. vedavis's Avatar
      vedavis -
      Devil's Advocate: Adding the reporting feature is really scary. Even though reporting an outbreak is screened before it is posted, how much of a temptation will be to report at anytime, anywhere, even false reports? And how much manpower will it take to confirm a legitimate report? I only hope our iPhone community will use this app for its real potential and not abuse it.
    1. Fallguy's Avatar
      Fallguy -
      Ok , so I am heading to Mexico next week , will this be a worldwide app or is it just for U.S. ? If it will work in Mexico , will I be charged any roaming data fees or any other fees ?

      Besides this app , what can I do outside the U.S. with my phone without ringing up charges not covered on my data plan now ?
    1. A_DuB187's Avatar
      A_DuB187 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Fallguy View Post
      Ok , so I am heading to Mexico next week , will this be a worldwide app or is it just for U.S. ? If it will work in Mexico , will I be charged any roaming data fees or any other fees ?

      Besides this app , what can I do outside the U.S. with my phone without ringing up charges not covered on my data plan now ?
      If you would like to get a few good answers to you're question you should create a thread in the proper section. You will find that you get way more help that way.

      As for this app I don't see it being really affective because there's no way to filter false reports.
    1. vedavis's Avatar
      vedavis -
      As for this app I don't see it being really affective because there's no way to filter false reports.
      From C-Net's iPhone Atlas:
      Created by Children's Hospital Boston and MIT Media Lab, it taps data provided by HealthMap, an online service that "collects filters, maps, and disseminates information about emerging infectious diseases."
      Hence my apprehension about the necessary manpower to investigate every reportage.
    1. ronblade's Avatar
      ronblade -
      This is the first time I am knowing about Swine flu application. I think it is quite helpful for iphone users. They will get to know more about it and can prevent it if they are careful.
    1. robbpell's Avatar
      robbpell -
      haha as weird as it sounds i think im gonna download this one. the h1n1 hasnt really been that big of a worry to me as only one person died in Louisiana so far but today in calc2 i overheard a girl talking about two of her cousins that have it and she visited them wtf and our teacher was gone for 2 days only to come back today sniffing and coughing and ending class 30 min early. yikes im getting scared here lol
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      I other news the Earth has hot and cold seasons, the Sun comes out during the day and goes away at night, and water falls from the sky. Fear mongering put forth to scare idiots and make lots of money for pharmaceutical companies.

      EDIT: and I'm going to submit as many false reports as I possibly can. Because it's funny to see stupid people worry about propaganda they see on TV. Cracks me up every time.
    1. Frostbite's Avatar
      Frostbite -
      Quote Originally Posted by rwin84 View Post
      Wow! This is almost as scary as the illness itself
      LOL I agree
    1. gazinc69's Avatar
      gazinc69 -
      Ive had swine flu..It wasnt so scarey...
    1. mdc929's Avatar
      mdc929 -
      Quote Originally Posted by vedavis View Post
      Devil's Advocate: Adding the reporting feature is really scary. Even though reporting an outbreak is screened before it is posted, how much of a temptation will be to report at anytime, anywhere, even false reports? And how much manpower will it take to confirm a legitimate report? I only hope our iPhone community will use this app for its real potential and not abuse it.
      agreed
      my friend had swine flu over the summer and that sht is no joke
      a high school kid from my city passed away from it as well
      hopefully people take this app seriously
      i know i will especially as a college student with OCD
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      dumb