Saturday, May 26, 2012

More apps, less flu?

Fewer people caught the flu this season compared with  past years. And many more apps tracking the flu have been developed.  Any relationship between these two trends?

Of course, less flu could be just the result of fewer mutations in bugs, warmer weather and more vaccinations. Yet the power of good software - such as google flu trends, twitter-based trackers and numerous apps can not be underestimated. Thanks to these tools, we are now more aware (and more afraid).

The flu is inherently social. "Nip the flu in the bud by spreading information, not germs, through the social network", says Flu Alert app. and lets you sort your friends by their flu exposures. Virtual flu in Fluville is promoting healthy habits by showing how flu can spread. Fluspotter let's you exchange warnings with your facebook friends, Flutracking reads your e-mails, while Influ takes your voice messages and shares it with users around the world. Biodisapora is tracking disease outbreaks by monitoring air travel. Sickweather scans Twitter and Facebook posts, and Germtrax lets you also sync with Foursquare and Google+  to geo-locate your wereabouts while being sick - with one of 6067 sicknesses available in their database.

According to multiple research studies, flu-related Internet searches, use of certain phrases on Twitter and Facebook posts peak 1-2 weeks earlier than the epidemic curve and align reasonably well with CDC data.

Social media is a noisy but powerful adjunct to surveillance systems based on official sources. It gives us an opportunity of contributing to the community's common good. It raises our awareness, but is not sufficient on its own. Many other factors increase our individual risks. Air travel. Or stress (haven't you noticed flu season in Greece was the worst in the world this year?) Age and food, too.

Aurametrix is a personal health analysis system that tackles this problem with an integrative approach. It aligns your medical history and historical CDC information with your food, mood and amount of sleep. It  looks at all environmental predictions for today telling you if pollen, mold spores or air quality are more likely to be the reason for your symptoms, or if it is the rise in infectious diseases in your area. Aurametrix relies on a range of official sources and social media predictions. The data are constantly updated and refined, and causes linked with effects.


Dugas, A., Hsieh, Y., Levin, S., Pines, J., Mareiniss, D., Mohareb, A., Gaydos, C., Perl, T., & Rothman, R. (2012). Google Flu Trends: Correlation With Emergency Department Influenza Rates and Crowding Metrics Clinical Infectious Diseases, 54 (4), 463-469 DOI: 10.1093/cid/cir883

Manago, Adriana M., Taylor, T., Greenfield, P.M. Me and my 400 friends: The anatomy of college students' Facebook networks, their communication patterns, and well-being. (2012) Developmental Psychology, Jan 30. doi: 10.1037/a0026338

Signorini A, Segre AM, Polgreen PM. The use of Twitter to track levels of disease activity and public concern in the U.S. during the influenza A H1N1 pandemic. PLoS One. 2011 May 4;6(5):e19467. PMID: 21573238

Ginsberg J, et al. Detecting influenza epidemics using search engine query data. (2009) Nature 457, 1012–1014.

Ortiz JR, et al. Monitoring influenza activity in the United States: A comparison of traditional surveillance systems with Google Flu Trends. PLoS ONE 6(4):e18687. 2011.

Christakis NA, et al. Social network sensors for early detection of contagious outbreaks. PLoS ONE 5(9):e12948. 2010.

Malik MT, Gumel A, Thompson LH, Strome T, Mahmud SM. "Google flu trends" and emergency department triage data predicted the 2009 pandemic H1N1 waves in Manitoba. Can J Public Health. 2011 Jul-Aug;102(4):294-7. PMID: 21913587

Collier N, Son NT, Nguyen NM. OMG U got flu? Analysis of shared health messages for bio-surveillance. J Biomed Semantics. 2011 Oct 6;2 Suppl 5:S9. PMID: 22166368

Basak P. Development of an online tool for public health: the European Public Health Law Network.
Public Health. 2011 Sep;125(9):600-3. Epub 2011 Aug 23. PMID: 21864871

Chew C, Eysenbach G. Pandemics in the age of Twitter: content analysis of Tweets during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak. PLoS One. 2010 Nov 29;5(11):e14118. PMID: 21124761

Scanfeld D, Scanfeld V, Larson EL. Dissemination of health information through social networks: twitter and antibiotics. Am J Infect Control. 2010 Apr;38(3):182-8. PMID: 20347636

Eysenbach G. Infodemiology and infoveillance: framework for an emerging set of public health informatics methods to analyze search, communication and publication behavior on the Internet. J Med Internet Res. 2009 Mar 27;11(1):e11. PMID: 19329408


  1. I think your link to GermTrax ( is broken. Cool article!

  2. Thank you for posting such a great article! I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. Keep up the good work!
    bcaa amino acids

  3. Very useful and in-depth article for this flu season. Thanks for taking you time to write it! Keep up the great work, bookmarked.

    national home improvements

  4. good this app Shareit the recipient and the sender need SHAREit for iPhone it easily and promptly. Free download and install best.

  5. رعاية المسنين بعمل مركز الرحمة رعاية المسنين في

    علي توفير افضل سبل الرعاية و العناية و الاهتمام الدائم بكبار السن لهذا فاننا نتابع تقديم هذه الخدمة رعاية

    والتمريض المتميزة بالاعتماد علي أفضل المشرفين و المتخصصين في جميع انواع الخدمات وايضا علاج طبيعي بالمنزل بتوفير افضل الاجهزة الحديثة المخصصة في العلاج

    الطبيعي والتمريض التي يكون كل مسن بحاجة اليها و منها الرعاية الطبية و النفسية و الاجتماعية اهم اسباب نجاح مركز الرحمة لرعاية المسنين توفير افضل جلسين بالمنزل مدربين علي اعلي

    مستوى من الرعاية والخدمات الطبية علي مستوى مصر نقدم ايضا صور عديدة من صور الاهتمام والرعاية الصحية رعاية كبار

    السن في المنزل
    و الحرص علي تلبية رغباتهم و ارضائهم و العمل علي ان يكون كل منهم في حالة دائمة من البهجة ما يجده من رعاية و اهتمام من خلال مكتب رعاية مسنين و بالتالي لكل من يبحث عن الخدمة الافضل و لهذا فاننا علي علم تام بان مواصفات الخدمة المتوفرة و لهذا فاننا

    نحرص علي اتاحة مجموعة فعالة من الخدمات الخدمة الاجتماعية المتوفرة في مركز رعاية مسنين الاسكندرية من افضل اشكال و اساليب الرعاية التي تساعدهم علي التكيف و التأقلم مع الوضع

    الجديد الذي يعيشوا به في الفترة الحالية من حياتهم مركز الرحمة جليسة لسيدة مسنة انت في مكان الصحيح يقدم مركز الرحمة

    عروض وباقات رعاية المسنين والتمريض افضل الاسعار في مصر شاملة الاجهزة والرعاية المنزلية يقدمها مركز الرحمة مجانا رعاية المسنين بالمنزل لهذا فاننا نعمل علي تنفيذ خدمة ذات

    فاعلية و تمكن و باحدث الطرق الاكثر تحقيقا للهدف الذي نعمل علي تحقيقه بشكل دائم
    اسعار التمريض المنزلي
    اسعار رعاية المسنين
    مكتب جليسات
    رعاية المسنين
    رعاية المسنين بالمنزل
    دار رعاية مسنين
    وظائف خالية رعاية مسنين
    رعاية المسنين بالمنزل القاهرة

    مركز صيانة المعتمد بمصر نملك من المميزات الكثير والتى دفعت مركز صيانة مصر ان تعتمد علينا فى صيانة اجهزة اولا : نملك افضل خدمة

    عملاء لتوكيل صيانة تعمل على مدار الساعه من اجل ان تنعم انت واسرتك باجهزة المنزلية حيث تقوم باستقبال الاتصال من العميل وتاخذ منة جميع البيانات الازمة من العنوان ورقم التليفون

    وانسب وقت للاتصال ونوع الجهاز ونوع المشكلة التى اصابت جهاز المنزلية ثانيا : تقوم خدمة عملاء مركز صيانة بتسليم امر العمل

    الى مهندسين الصيانة والذين يقومون بالاتصال بالعميل لتحديد انسب ميعاد للتواصل مع العميل والننا نملك اسطول من السيارات ومراكزنا تملاء جميع محافظات ومراكز مصر فاننا نصل اليك

    فى اسرع وقت ممكن لنقوم بصيانة جهاز المركز، ولكن ماذا اذا تطب الامر قطعه غيار فاننا نملك قطع غيار اصلية خاصة وبخصم

    يصل الى 50% من ثمن قطعه الغيار الخاصة بصيانة ثالثا : الضمان حيث اننا نقوم بضمان التصليح وصيانة الاجهزة وايضا نملك

    ضمان على قطع الغيار لصيانة تصل لاى 5 اعوام بعد التركيب والصيانة
    مركز صيانة و توكيل صيانة وخدمة عملاء

  6. If you want to take the trans siberian train in order to visit some of the main attractions to which it can bring you, then you might want to know what is the trans siberian railway cost for such a trip and what attractions you can admire along the way. From Beijing to Ulaanbaatar and Lake Baikal, there are many places that will astound you.

  7. In its simplest explication, a valve is an important element used for establishing the flow of a certain substance, from liquids to fluidized solids and gases. This sort of element can be used in a wide range of applications, such as: commercial, industrial, military, transportation and residential. There are available multiple types of valves that can be utilized in different ways and one of them is the butterfly valve. Another common type of valve is the gate valve, being used in any sort of process plant. For solving your plumbing issues, finding the best Butterfly Valve Manufacturer or Gate Valve Manufacturer, is a must.

  8. النمل الأبيض أو الأرضة هو نوع من الحشرات التي تعيش في مجموعات كبيرة أو مستعمرات في باطن الأرض، وهو منتشر بشكلٍ كبير، ولونه أبيض، ويكون رأسه متصلاً بشكلٍ مباشر مع ذيله، ويتغذى بشكل أساسي على السيليولوز الموجود في أخشاب الأشجار والنباتات المختلفة، ويشكل خطراً على الإنسان إن وُجد، لذلك يفضّل الابتعاد عن مناطق تجمعه، أو محاولة التخلص من هذه التجمعات بشتى الطرق.

    شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالقصيم
    شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالخبر
    شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالدمام
    شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بحائل

  9. Everyone has dealt with computer issues by now and they tried to fix them on their own, but sometimes they complicated things even more. It leads to more problems, related to hardware or software, including losing valuable data. What is certain is that computer repair Richmond VA should be managed only by professionals, with vast experience in the field, certified and highly reliable. Repair services refer to WiFi support Richmond as well, since having no internet is a harsh punishment.

  10. I look forward to hearing more updates from you.
    the picta

  11. In order to organize the space efficiently within an office and make sure that every employee is productive and has everything at hand, companies need to invest in furniture elements. There are many choices on the market, especially when it comes to desks, arise deskalator, ergonomic chairs, cabinets and other storage spaces and such. Statewide filing cabinets are highly recommended within offices, because they have many advantages, being versatile, functional and available in many designs.

  12. There are countless reasons why you should want to rely on direct mail flyers Liverpool, one of them being the fact that it is the most efficient way to connect with your target audience. But first, you would need to invest in a direct mail printing Liverpool service offered by just the right professionals.

  13. Those of you who are in the market for industrial valves will be pleases to see that you have numerous options. When it comes to China Valve there is no shortage of options and it comes as no surprise that most people who need valves turn their attention towards Chinese manufacturers. The Ball Valve Manufacturer puts at your disposal the ball valve, a type of valve that presents various advantages that should not be ignored.

  14. Advertise your job for fast, easy and effective recruitment. Reach thousands of candidates actively looking for a new job today

    if you want more just look here "job sonly"

  15. Thank you very for share us such kind of good info
    kickass torrents

  16. Nice Article. Thanks for sharing the useful information with us. Keep on updating us regularly.

    here's my webpage """ 풀싸롱

  17. Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this amazing site needs a
    great deal more attention. I'll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the advice!

    Also visit my web site; 오피사이트


  18. Thanks for the latest news updates. thanks a lot. visit here to check out samagra id by name