Sickweather's new Apple Watch app adds nifty 'SickScore' feature - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Apr. 20, 2015 8:01 am

Sickweather’s new Apple Watch app adds nifty ‘SickScore’ feature

A “virtual Geiger counter for sickness.” Sickweather is the first Baltimore startup we've seen on Apple Watch.
SIckweather’s Apple Watch app displays a location-based “SickScore.”

SIckweather's Apple Watch app displays a location-based "SickScore."

(Image courtesy of Sickweather)

Illness-tracking app Sickweather is now on the Apple Watch. And it’s not just a straight migration. The app also has a new feature.

Sickweather already scans social media, partner apps and self-reports from its internal community to map illnesses in an area. The latest feature looks to measure how likely someone is to get sick.

With the new version, Sickweather debuted a feature called SickScore. The function uses an algorithm to determine how at-risk a person is for contagious illness in their area. If the threat is high, users can then open a timer that will count to 20 seconds — how long public health officials recommend people wash their hands to avoid illness.

CEO Graham Dodge called it a “virtual Geiger counter for sickness.” The new feature was the linchpin for the Apple Watch app, he said.

“We talked about developing for Apple Watch as soon as it was announced, but it wasn’t high priority on our road map as our resources were limited and our focus was narrow,” Dodge said. “We also didn’t want to simply extend our iOS app to Apple Watch, we wanted to take the time to understand what we could do on Apple Watch that would be totally unique from what we’ve already done.”

The idea came at a January meeting of Sickweather’s iOS development team, which includes lead mobile developer John Erck and art director James Erck.

“While the Ercks dug into WatchKit and the front-end design, our new SickScore endpoint had it own challenges that our Lead Data Scientist and Epidemiologist Bogdan Rau and our CTO, Michael Belt, worked to resolve,” Dodge said. “The final product was a fully tested and approved Apple Watch app.”

The Emerging Technology Centers-based Sickweather is the first Baltimore startup we’ve seen release an app designed for Apple Watch. Have you seen others?

Companies: Sickweather
People: Graham Dodge
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