DENVER -- If you've ever wished you could have seen the cold or flu coming before you caught it, you may be in luck. That's exactly what one app aims to do. It's called Sickweather.
Sickweather analyzes public tweets and Facebook posts to track various illnesses and allergies throughout the country. It maps those out so that you can see what's being reported in your neighborhood.
Sick Weather can also notify you when sickness is reported near you. It's a powerful tool but how accurate can social media be? Graham Dodge, spokesman for Sickweather, told me via Skype that the company has compared Sickweather data with CDC data and they match up. In fact he said sometimes Sickweather was 2 weeks ahead of the CDC.
Dodge said Sickweather is a great way to get a heads-up so you can take precautions, "That real-time information is really a great way to prompt you to make different decisions than you might otherwise make. For example, you might wash your hands, you might buy some immune boosting vitamins, you might go out and get a flu shot."
The Sickweather app is free and available right now for iPhone. Sickweather is working on an Android app and expects to release it early next year.