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HealthMap: Tracking diseases online

Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School has launched HealthMap, an automated data-gathering system used to track disease. HealthMap aims to organize and disseminate this online information using feeds from various public health organizations.

This is similar to the concept I first saw at the Who Is Sick website, but the HealthMap seems to be a step forward. One the one hand, Who Is Sick site has user-generated data which may be more cutting edge, but Health Map has more data and data from more reliable sources. Further, HealthMap has the backing of prestigious organizations. I would not be surprised if HealthMap incorportated a user generated “Who is sick?”-like feature into their website.

Public Health thrives on the exchange of information, and new IT developments are certainly improving the quality of public health around the world.