A phone with flu alert capabilities?

Would you buy a phone that could alert you to swine flu outbreaks over your smartphone?

The experiment brought to light by the Japan Times in early June 2009 is a new initative thought up by the Japanese Government in conjunction with a phone carrier, possibly Softbank this coming fall.

Apparently the plan was thought
Above: ¨I got what?¨
up before the current pandemic of swine flu.

The plan is to choose a school with approximatley 1000 students and give them iphones, to track the students whereabouts and store the info on a central server

A handful of students will be hypothetically ¨infected¨ with a virus. Then the phones track the whereabouts of all

students and see how an advisory GPS system can track down infected people, see who they have come in contact with and prevent further infections using this information.

Curenlty there are 2,033 Japanese infected with the swine flu, an infection that swelled from 3 cases from a Japanese teacher and her students from a trip to North America in May, to 1000 infections in June 2009.

With technology being able to help us in our daily lives, why not rely on mobile phones to track and detect the contamination of virus´s- even help advise those infected with a text to see the doctor?

On the other hand, privacy would be sacrificed as the system relies on having your GPS location at all times to see whose path you may have crossed.

How will the infectee be warned and treated? It opens the door to discrimination if some suspect you have been infected even before having been tested.

The pitch isn´t purely for the benefit of the community either, as Softbank has seen the market saturated with smartphones, so the benefit of having a device that can warn you of potential virus´s is a possible money spinner for Softbank.

Would you opt in to a phone with that service? Is there potential for use in the future in other densely populated countries?


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