TO DUCK AND COVER FOR DISEASE, NOT WEATHER

A number of years back, when the Weather Channel captured the crises/entertainment value of dangerous storms, I joked to a friend that it wouldn’t be long until someone launched the Sick Channel, where the same kind of entertainment values would be applied to contagions and epidemics.  Well it didn’t take long at all because now you can tap into a disease tracking system called Sickweather that monitors social networks for mentions of 24 different symptoms of illnesses, including “whooping cough,” “hand foot and mouth,” and “eczema.” And a system like this is to be expected, considering many peoples’ job titles include interpreting Big Data. (more…)