New Phone App Tracks Spread Of Illness

Apr 18, 2017

Two Winston-Salem pediatricians developed the app Sneez to help parents get more information about sickness at their child's school.
Credit Claus Rebler / Flickr, Creative Commons

A new phone app that tracks the spread of illnesses in school age children is gaining popularity in the Triad.

Two Winston-Salem pediatricians developed the app Sneez to help parents get more information about sickness at their child's school.

Bill Satterwhite, one of the app’s creators, says he and fellow pediatrician Steve Hodges were inspired by their own experiences when they hatched the idea a few years ago.

“At the time...I was seeing lots of sick children, and I remember thinking, ‘Man, I wish I had some way to know what was going around in the school where this child attends’,” Satterwhite said.

The app can be used to crowd-source information directly from people who report when they are sick. That means it could have broad applications for preventing illnesses worldwide, according to Satterwhite.

“I think there's huge potential for it to be a very valuable source of information that could be used on a much bigger scale than what we have now, cause most of the world now has a cell phone,” he said.

Right now, Sneez has about 800 users in the Triad. The app is free and available anywhere. Satterwhite said it can help doctors, parents and schools make decisions about disease prevention and treatment.

Parents can use the app to report illnesses like lice, flu and strep throat anonymously by their child's school and grade. Parents and doctors can also check the app to see what conditions are going around where they live.