What the Tech? App of the day: Sickweather - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What the Tech? App of the day: Sickweather

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A new year is beginning with a widespread of flu. According to the CDC, influenza is now widespread in 36 states and it is believed the flu will spread more rapidly as people return to work and school after the holidays.

This year's vaccine? Only 10-20% effective by some reports. So how do you avoid getting the flu? By avoiding contact with people who have it and one of the best ways to do that is with a smartphone and smart watch app.

Sick Weather gathers information from multiple sources to come up with what you might describe as a Sick Forecast.

First, the app access information from the CDC and other governmental health agencies such as demographics and census figures. It also monitors social media for the use of certain keywords and phrases. When someone posts to Facebook that "they have the flu" and the posts are made publicly and with geo-location tags, that information is added to the Sick Weather data. Many users of the app also self-report symptoms and diagnoses. Once all of that information is gathered, machine learning takes over to plot it out on a world-wide map. If the data reveals a rise in sickness reports in your area, you'll receive a notification that your area's "sick score" is higher.

A user can then look at the Sick Weather map to see precisely what is being reported down to the street so you can avoid those areas. Using the Sick Weather app on an Apple Watch you can also get reminders when it's best to wash your hands.

Using machine learning, Sick Weather claims it is capable to forecast the flu up to 15 days away and with 91% effectiveness. Besides the app, you can also see where the flu is and where it's spreading by going to the Sick Weather website, www.sickweather.com where you'll see how the flu is spreading over the past 5 days.

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