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IDEA #53 – Everyone Gets Sick

Right now I have a fever — an odd fever, because it’s lasted off and on since Monday. I’m curious who else has what I have in my area or around the world — I’ve spoken to some others around here and get the, “Oh yeah, something’s going around”.

I imagine seeing a Google Maps mashup that shows some fever/cold moving from one area to another — so that it could almost be anticipated. Or some other weird virus or flu. You could see a time-based trending and an anticipated upcoming trend. People could specify what the early symptoms were and whether they’ve had their flu shot for the year (and other shots). I see TV stations licensing this content and chatting about it during their weather forecast each day.

  • Heisenberg

    was thinking of this idea a bit ago. went searching and found what i was looking for, but think a lot more could be done with the site/concept:

  • EG

    cool idea

    according to yahoo is available!

    as my girlfriend put it, “the majority of people going to the site would be germaphobes and ppl that are scared of sickness/disease”

  • swissajr

    what bout a twitter like service?
    healthr :) were ppl create an account and can the set their health status… flu, fatal flu, healthy …

    on the page self u can map that stuff – geographicly
    people can look out for people with the same status a.t.m.
    u can do researches and so on….


  • Jon Speer

    It is my experience, though, that every time I or someone in my family is sick that others will say “yeah, it’s going around”. Doesn’t seem to matter when.

  • The Technocrat

    You could make a business model out of this. Get the pharmaceutical companies involved, and have them offer free samples of medicine to the people that need it. 100% targeted advertising. Of course, you’d have to build in the appropriate systems to prevent gaming of the system, but that’s a simple matter…

    This would encourage people to participate (free med samples), and add value to the data, which would then be more marketable.

  • James D Kirk

    Was waiting for the twitter tie in 😉 Surprised you didn’t incorporate it into your idea, Steve!

    I’ll have to take exception to one of the status settings that swissajr recommends “fatal flu”. Not sure how or when that status would go up! Otherwise, I think that a twitter feed into a “twitter vision” type of map would be a very interesting thing.

    Go Boldly!

  • IdeaTagger

    Interestingly this post came up in my pageflakes page right alongside this one from VentureBeat about

  • Josh

    I think the biggest market for this sort of service would be parenting sites (which could syndicate content) … every parent wants to know if, say, the stomach flu is going around their kid’s elementary school.

  • Thad

    Hmmm…. I came across this story too on frontpage of I am no health buff but what intrigues me about this site is that it is user driven and not a traditional web 2.0 mashup. Mashups are usually driven by data from elsewhere, and this site has innovative way of seeking user input.

  • WhoIsSick Guy

    What a great thread. I’m actually the founder of WhoIsSick and I actually have plans to incorporate much of what is being written about. We are still small so have WAY to much to work on but great posts! Come check out our site and give me some feedback!

  • The Technocrat

    or allow schools to embed it in their own sites as a value-add?

  • Olivier

    check out a site that was just launched on this premise. drill down to see enough data, as sometimes it can be hard to tell.

  • swissajr

    here i go, my 50 cents:

    i’m realy up to this idea.. could’ve made it way better..

    and the 100% targeting is a very very nice idea by technocrat! (and as i’m already into b2b sites for european pharmaceutical companies, i already have the contacts to those ppl, it’s a smal step for me)

    i think it could be interesting for the average joe – just to see how a flu floats from one continent-2-another/one region-2-another.
    for the pharmaceutical industry for advertisement.
    for school&parents..
    for researches (companies, students … and so on)

    make it simple, make it safe and graphically niiiice! (i have a dream about a flu map animation kinda like the weather maps ;-))

    anybody interested in takin this idea live? as i said, i’m from europe, i could manage/promote the european flu-o-meter…

  • Eric Nagel

    Hey, look what Lifehacker dug up

    I just checked my area… there’s someone with a tummy ache, conveniently right next to the cemetery (if things take a drastic turn), and someone downtown that has every symptom known to man (poor thing).

  • aaa

    Have you seen this:

  • MurWade

    Sounds good