SPOKANE, Wash. -- It is our natural tendency to Google our symptoms, self-diagnose then try and weed out the best remedy when we are not feeling so hot.
Now there are apps designed to help you avoid catching those germs by pointing out "Sick Zones." The Sickweather app scans social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, then records millions of different reports of sicknesses each month. It breaks cases down into individual diseases then gives an area a sick rating and score based on that data.
The app is relying on social media posts so clearly it is not perfect but the app does offer a way for families to track household illnesses which could help the data and resources to find a doctor.
The Doctors Report Illness Tracker app was released in February and encourages people to work with their doctor to prevent and defend against getting sick. It does this by tracking the same data health care providers share with insurance companies and government agencies across the country, including the CDC. The technology is available as an app and website and is capable of tracking fifteen conditions, contagious diseases and other spreading health risks including flu, pneumonia, bronchitis and strep throat. It uses graphs, charts and maps to show where diseases are most prevalent and also gives quick information about symptoms and prevention. The info claims to be accurate because the data is diagnosed by health care providers in near real-time.
The Washington State Department of Health said these apps are not a replacement for vaccination, good hand washing, hygiene and medical care. According to a few digital articles, doctors think free apps like these are a good way to inform people about what health risks are present in their community.