Combining user generated content, crowdsourcing, and useful data mining

This new web site has an interesting value proposition. The idea is to encourage everyone to upload when they are sick. It would provide two values to users:

1. You could search to see which of your friends are sick, so you would know who to avoid, send cards to, make soup for, or whatever your preferred response is.

2. You could view maps that cluster the illness so you know where to avoid going to places like the mall where you are likely to catch the illness from strangers.

And for public health professionals, it would be a good monitoring and research tool. They could identify outbreaks quickly and for those types of outbreaks where existing data is pretty weak because many people don’t go the doctor (e.g. the flu) they would get a new tool for tracking outbreaks more comprehensively (assuming enough people use the site).

I think the assumption is that when you are not feeling well, you are probably skipping a lot of your normal activities, but going online is one we still do. So while we are on Facebook, we can just click over to Sickweather and report in. Perhaps we would be encouraged because of the increase in get well cards and soup we would receive.

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