Call it “Cover-Your-Facebook”.
A new social media website, created by a Denver-based Web 2.0 company, lets community residents alert one another to infectious diseases that are currently circulating in their neighborhoods.
The site, called What’s Going Round (www.whatsgoinaround.com), allows Denver residents to share their knowledge and experience with infectious viruses that may be circulating in their communities.
The site’s home page features three sample “cases” of people in the community anonymously posting their (or in one case their son’s) period of illness and symptoms. Visitors can then click on “See What’s Going Round Now” to see profiles and symptoms of people within a 10-mile radius of their area. Users can also see trends in symptoms in the area. The symptoms are limited to fatigue, runny nose and stomach pain and the prevalence each symptom is indicated on a graph.
Users must register to post their own symptoms or information and can converse with others about health conditions anonymously.
The creators of the site say they are filling a much-needed void, especially with today’s medical costs. That fact, along with the popularity of the web as an electronic gathering place, makes Whatsgoinground.com an idea whose time has come.
“Current skyrocketing healthcare costs, combined with the rising acceptance of the web for medical information and the viral growth of social networking, has created the perfect storm within which the new WGR site can thrive,” said What’s Going Round co-founder and CTO Jim Campanell.
“We like to think of ourselves as “Facebook with a purpose’”, he added.
Specifically, the creators say the site is part Facebook, part WebMD. In addition to allowing the public to share “real-time” information about viruses that may be sweeping through their neighborhood and region, the site also offers possible treatments as well as precautions that may be taken.
The goal of all of this information sharing, the creators of the site explained, is to help Denver residents make more informed decisions about their health care needs. They stated that a “significant portion” of the skyrocketing healthcare bills of today come from people using the system inappropriately and seeking unnecessary medical care.
By using Whatsgoinground.com, they state, users can better determine what medical steps should be taken and shrink their healthcare costs as well relieve the burden of unnecessarily crowded emergency rooms.
“If you aren’t feeling well, you can use What’s Going Round to see what others in your area are experiencing,” the creators explain on their website. “You could see what they’re doing about it, how well that’s working for them, and what you can expect as your illness progresses. You’ll even be able to interact with others about their experiences.
“Our goal is to become the place you go first when you’re thinking about your health,” the creators state.