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Got the sniffles? Tweet about it: The push to share illness data online

Posted: December 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Basics, In the News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

The truth hurts. We’re currently in the throes of flu season with no reassuring end in sight. Whether it’s a fever, the chills, a runny nose or the ever-dreaded stomach bug, recent data trends show that sicklings across America like to share their not-so-pleasant illness narratives on the World Wide Web. According to Boston Children’s Hospital computational epidemiologist John Brownstein, a keynote speaker at this week’s mHealth Summit in DC, we should be thanking these individuals—they’re allowing digital public health companies to capture valuable data to create meaningful insights for users.

Brownstein highlighted several noteworthy collaborations and projects while at the Summit. Boston-based HealthMap currently deploys Google’s “Vaccine Finder,” enabling health consumers to search by location and vaccine type across the United States. In a pilot with UberHealth, HealthMap used Uber cars to help nurses deliver flu vaccines to individuals at work and at home in both New York City and Boston.

Brownstein, one of HealthMap’s chief architects, also highlighted the startup’s cooperation with Yelp to collect reports on food poisoning to track foodborne illnesses—which average about 10,000 cases per year. Through HealthMap’s Outbreaks Near Me app, iOS and Android users can report outbreaks of a variety of illnesses for identification and tracking.

So, to the tissue-hogging, fever-running, congested and unhappy folks out there—keep blogging, keep Tweeting, and keep Facebook posting. HealthMap and other soon-to-be digital public health companies seem to have you covered for now and for the future of illness outbreak tracking.

To hear more from John Brownstein, check out his interview from this week’s mHealth Summit here!


About DoseSpot 
DoseSpot is a Surescripts certified e-Prescribing platform specifically designed to integrate with electronic health record, electronic dental record, practice management and telehealth software. DoseSpot is certified to e-Prescribe controlled substances and has provided simple, affordable and integratable e-Prescribing solutions to healthcare IT companies since 2009. For more information, please visit www.DoseSpot.com.