Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline and MIT Connection Science have launched a new flu app called Flumoji to help users track symptoms and share that information with researchers working to improve disease surveillance.

Cases of the flu have increased nationally as the season begins to hit its usual peak. Tracking the activity of such a ubiquitous disease can help public health officials guide limited resources to the areas where they could get the most bang for their buck.

We’ve seen interesting uses of digital health for flu tracking in recent years, ranging from medical apps to guide flu treatment to the use of social media and internet searches to track activity. Flumoji is an Android app that includes educational material about the flu as well as symptom tracking features, which includes collection of data already being captured by the phone:

…the Flumoji app tracks a variety of real-time data from a user’s phone in order to detect fluctuations in a user’s activity levels, social levels, and general routine. These fluctuations are used to predict whether a user is experiencing a flu-like outbreak. Real-time data is only collected during the flu season.

Flumoji is actually part of a research study that will last six months, presumably to see if factors like activity data can predict flu cases or disease severity.

Source: Internet Health Management