PityPlz! Share your misery, get sympathy, save the world.

Honorable mention

PityPlz! is a FaceBook app that helps people with cold and flu symptoms tell their friends how they feel, and helps their friends provide either virtual or tangible sympathy.

PityPlz! uses this simple, playful app to entice people to learn how to prevent and treat colds and flu, and to help create the world’s premier crowd-sourced epidemiology data set.

Over time, a massive collection of symptoms, reported each day by people experiencing colds and flu, will enable the CDC and other public health professionals to:

  • better understand the course of colds and flu in the community
  • monitor symptomology in real time to detect new outbreaks
  • comprehensively assess the impact of vaccination on detailed symptomology

At the same time (when sufficiently populated), this data set will enable individual users of the app to:

  • assess the risk of getting sick, based on activity in the user’s social network
  • assess the probability of their future symptoms based on symptoms so far
  • assess the relative severity and duration of their symptoms, compared with others who either did or did not receive the vaccine

Large-scale, crowd-sourced epidemiology requires large datasets. PityPlz! provides immediate value to entice the first million users to submit their symptoms.