I'm very excited to announce the newest application by people here at DIYcity. The app is called SickCity, and it provides realtime detection for disease outbreak in cities.
How, you say?
It works by monitoring status messages on Twitter (and soon on Facebook) in cities around the world, tallying up disease keywords such as "flu", "fever", "food poisoning", "chicken pox" and so on. It then takes those tallies and creates a 30-day chart for each keyword in each city. This lets you see in one glance whether conversation about a particular disease is high, low, increasing, decreasing, or not changing. This, in turn, should give you a good idea when an outbreak is afoot.
Here's food for thought: with a budget of $0, we've created an app that may in fact do a reasonably good job at notifying people when there's a nasty outbreak happening in their immediate vicinity.
Is it perfect? No. Is it a prototype? Yes. Will it get better? Definitely.
I cannot say enough good things about the team that put it together. The DIYcity Challenge on this was issued less than a week ago, and immediately several followers of the site chimed in with ideas. Before two days had gone by, we had a rough prototype and a full roadmap, and were chugging toward the finish line. Special congrats to Paul Watson for his masterful prototyping and delivery of the final RoR code. And thanks to all the others for their contributions as well.
Please go check it out...