Carrying on our tradition of
sneezing you with our cold articles on tracking flu, comes the latest player into the market Sickweather.
While our previous venture into social media flu tracking found a professor who tracked tweets, here your information is pulled from Facebook and Twitter, making this app around 700 million users richer in data!
This has resulted in Sickweather pulling data from over 30,000,000 tweets & Facebook updates which then filters down to 8,000,000 qualified reports using their patent pending accuracy checker (They say 90%) which adjusts the data (I suspect) with the CDC’s flu map and Google Flu Trends. According to a blog post on the Sickweather site, it seems the system has detected flu six weeks earlier than the CDC.
I think what I have learnt is that in order for a tracking programme to know how accurate its data is, it needs a benchmark from the government to start off with. While tracking Twitter users in Sri Lanka may not meet the numbers, Facebook is already 4 million strong in Sri Lanka and presents an opportunity for any medical applications developer.
You can search your localities flu patterns on their website. You could also check out their activity map of flu below: