"It really gives you this x-ray vision where you can walk down the street, this can run on your mobile device, and you see how many people you are about to encounter, which is something that is hard to guess otherwise," said Adam Sadilek.
Adam Sadilek is a University of Rochester Post Doctoral Student. Through TwitterHealth, he measures how people feel based on what they tweet. Since a lot of tweets come from cell phones, like a GPS, Adam can track the exact location where people are sick.
"If you are deciding whether you eat at this restaurant or the next one, you can actually use this app to measure which one has a higher likelihood of you catching something," said Sadilek.
Through TwitterHealth, Adam covers select cities across the United States, including Rochester and Buffalo. Red dots are for sick people. Green dots are for healthy people.
When you click on the dots, you read what each person has tweeted.
"If you see a cluster of sick people right here, it's reasonable to assume that if you go to that location, you are more likely to get sick than somewhere here where everybody is green," said Sadilek.
Doctors at Rochester General Hospital say TwitterHealth might not be 100 percent accurate, but it is a helpful tool.
"It certainly is a nice early warning signal that something is going on and even to broaden it. It could be an alert system for emerging pathogens, things like SARS," said Dr. Ann Falsey, Infectious Disease Specialist at RGH.
Like Dr. Falsey, Adam admits not all people send out truthful tweets, so the app isn't always accurate, but he does say it enables you to make an informed decision about what's more likely or less likely to happen to you.
To check out TwitterHealth, you can go to http://m.fount.in.