Fight your flu with DATA

The Captain does not get sick. Superheroes are impervious to colds and flus. The same can't be said for the employees in the Captain Dash Paris office, who are definitely feeling the sniffles of the winter season in Paris.

Fear not! It's 2013, and what have we seen permeating the blog-o-sphere and all of the news as of late? Data. And, unsurprisingly, technology professionals (who hate the flu as much as the next person), are using data to prevent this particularly virulent sickness.

As the article in VentureBeat mentions, this has been one of the worst flu seasons on record. In fact, a public health emergency has been declared in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) due to an unprecedented amount of cases. So the intervention of data-savvy apps and programs cannot come sooner.

For example, FluNearYou is a recent American public-health project that functions as a doctor oriented community tracker of over 40,000 people. Germ Tracker is another effort driven by data that tracks the flu as it spreads using data collected from social media. Another "viral" (ha-ha) app gaining traction is Help, I Have the Flu, which scans your friends' statuses to see if they mentioned common sick-related words like flu, sneeze, cough, etc. so you can see who in your network you should avoid. Help, I Have the Flu can even try to pinpoint who gave you the flu from your network in the first place! Then of course, we have Google, where you can explore intense data-driven flu trends and visualizations.

The point here is this : less than a decade ago, the only way to prevent the flu was to lock yourself in a sterile room or to get a flu shot. The only way to share that you had the flu was to pick up a phone and tell someone, or just cough in their general direction. Today, with the unbelievable possibilities associated with data, not only can you share your plans to stay under a blanket with chicken soup on social media, you can also be a part of a massive data analytics project that can help prevent the flu for others. Revolutionary.

Don't forget to follow Captain Dash on Twitter @Captain_Dash  and "Like" us on Facebook Captain Dash  If you're interested in cool infographics and the like, check out our Pinterest! Captain Dash