I recently came across an interesting idea based on the HousingMaps model: have individuals report their own illnesses in order to have a better idea of public health. This is the plan for the start-up Who is Sick? website. The site aims to provide health information to the public by tracking and monitoring current and local sicknesses using a Google Maps interface.
I think this is a very interesting idea and possibly important idea, but one question remains: will enough people decide to report their illnesses on their website to make the information gathered meaningful? PT Lee of the Who is Sick website states “…there is some satisfaction of quickly and easily posting you sickness and seeing that many many people will hopefully benefit in some small way from the contribution. Also, most visitors to the site will probably be sick themselves so hopefully, they will post while looking.”