You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
| October 28, 2009
As a swine flu survivor, I can appreciate an app like Swine Flu Center. I caught the bug in June, after interviewing someone who (unknowingly) had it in abundance. It floored me in a way that the ordinary flu doesn't, but after a week or so of hell it was over. I was lucky. About 5,000 people around the world have died from the swine flu, renamed in the media 'H1N1' at the pork industry's request. Swine Flu Center was developed by HMSMobile, a group sponsored by Harvard Medical School's Health Publications division. The Harvard Health Publications division disseminates information about health and medicine, which is basically what Swine Flu Center does. The app "tells you how you can reduce your risk of contracting H1N1 -- anytime, anywhere -- through your iPhone." The app teaches you, with funny company-training-like videos, charts, and lectures, the basics of swine-flu and how to reduce your risk of catching it. It also gives up-to-date information about the virus and maps showing areas of concentrated infection. An interactive symptom checker is there to excite the hypochondriacs, as well as a list of supplies to keep handy and local "swine-flu hotlines" to call. Available as an "exclusive add-on," the Harvard Business School offers Swine Flu Center: Business. This in-app purchase is geared towards managers and business owners interested in mitigating the risk of an office outbreak and features video, employee guides, and downloadable workplace signs. There are a number of other swine-flu apps in the App Store that I also won't need, thanks to my well-earned swine-flu antibodies. There doesn't appear to be anything in this app that isn't available for free via a Google search, but if you have two bucks to throw away and are worried about catching the piggy-flu, this looks like the best app of its kind.