Since we launched SickCity on March 10th, the site has spread quickly around the world. The tool allows users to activate the service for their own city from the sickcity.org website, and users have responded, creating a version of SickCity for more than 55 cities around the world as of this writing. (Many of these are still having data imported for them this very minute.)
Clearly it's a fascinating service to follow.
The equally important issue, of exactly how well it works as an alert system, is harder to determine at the moment. After all, it's impossible to get realtime disease data for cities (which is why people at DIYcity built SickCity, of course). The premise is sound though, and we're confident that over time, with enough refinement and addition of new data, this kind of detection will get better, it will grow, and maybe eventually become commonplace.
For now, SickCity should be looked at as a compelling first start at city-level, realtime disease detection. Which is, in a sense, a historical first, especially in that it works for multiple cities simultaneously. Imagine if John Snow had had access to this kind of data during the London Cholera outbreak of 1854. This kind of realtime analysis at the local level is only going to get better and better as tools improve. And we at DIYcity intend to be pushing that envelope as much as possible.
If you want to help the team working on the project to make SickCity better, write to us at email@example.com and we'll put you in touch. And if you want a version of SickCity in your city, go to the site and add it!
And congrats to the team that got it off the ground and continue to refine it.