Well, there's now an app for that.
Today Google.org grantee HealthMap launched a new iPhone application called "Outbreaks Near Me" available for free download.
Curious about what disease outbreaks have been reported in your neighborhood? Or maybe in that city you're headed to for work or vacation? "Outbreaks Near Me" empowers users to track and report outbreaks of infectious disease near them in real-time. In addition to following the reports near you with an automatic alerting function, you can even become a disease detective yourself by reporting on outbreaks happening around you. It's the latest and greatest in grassroots disease surveillance.
HealthMap co-founder Clark Freifeld explains, "In releasing this app we aim to empower citizens in the cause of public health, not only by providing ready access to real-time information, but also by encouraging them to contribute their own knowledge, expertise and observations. In enabling participation in surveillance, we also expect to increase global coverage and identify outbreaks earlier."
HealthMap is based at Children's Hospital Boston. They launched this new application in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab. Please read HealthMap's press release for more information.