MP: Smartphone apps give lowdown on H1N1 virus

  • Neeraj Santoshi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Feb 24, 2015 17:11 IST

Nearly a dozen apps on swine flu launched for smartphones provide tips on staying safe from the H1N1 virus and inform users in Madhya Pradesh about areas where outbreaks of the flu have occurred.

Though most of them are simple apps, some can be of help with their special features. Though a majority of people the Hindustan Times spoke to were not aware of the apps, quite a few youngsters knew about them.

"I found some GPS-based swine flu apps interesting as they have features through which you can see whether a particular area where you are living in or travelling through has swine flu or not," said Shivam Sharma, an engineering student from Saket Nagar.

Another engineering student, Kirti Kumar, said some of the apps were helpful as they gave the latest information but most need upgrading.

"I think such apps need to be me made interactive and more helpful and they should be synced with government initiatives," he said.

Apart from free apps on swine flu, there are some paid ones. One app, Swine Flu Comics, takes a humorous approach to the viral disease and costs around Rs 54.

It claims to have "16 swine flu comic strips that will keep you chuckling". The makers of the app claim that the main character in their comics, The Cashier, takes a wry look at the pandemic.

Here is some information about the swine flu apps available for smartphones:

Swine Flu: Outbreaks Near Me: This app, downloaded by more than 10,000 people, provides information on swine flu outbreaks with geographic markers on maps. It is GPS-based and needs the mobile user to turn on GPS-based location services. When the user clicks on markers on the map where viral outbreaks have been reported, the user will see a list of news items related to that region. There is also an option to report a swine flu outbreak.

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