Charlotte, NC / November 15, 2017 – With flu season picking up steam, local parents have a new tool to help protect the health and wellness of their children: a free crowdsourcing mobile application called Sneez® that tracks illness outbreaks in schools.
“Sneez is a platform for parents to help other parents share information about what illnesses are going around their community so they can be better prepared and make informed decisions about how to respond,” said Dr. Bill Satterwhite, a practicing pediatrician in Winston-Salem, NC and Sneez co-founder. “As with any crowd-sourced tool, the more input, the better the information and the more useful our app becomes to parents, schools and the community at large.”
Here’s how the app works: Parents create a simple profile for each child in Sneez. If the child gets sick, the parent uses the app to anonymously report symptoms and illnesses, generating an alert to other Sneez users at that school. The more families using the app at that school, the better informed and prepared the entire community will be, Satterwhite said.
To inform parents about the benefits of Sneez and encourage downloads, the company offers an incentive program called “Sneez Shares” that benefits local parent-teacher associations (PTAs). For every child registered in the app during the month of November, Sneez will donate $1 to the PTA at the child’s school. Free downloads are available at the App Store and Google Play. To receive donations, the groups must elect to participate in the incentive program with Sneez. Other parent organizations at schools, pre-schools and daycares without a traditional PTA may also participate.
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New SNEEZ® MOBILE App tracks illness in schools
11/14/17 – p. 2 of 2
“There is a double benefit for school communities to use Sneez: managing illness more effectively while earning extra funds for activities and programs,” said Connie Cabbs, president of Mecklenburg PTA Council. “We are encouraging our members to take advantage of the Sneez Shares incentive program.”
Satterwhite and his co-founder Dr. Steve Hodges, a practicing pediatric urologist in Winston-Salem, imagined how technology might be harnessed to help keep families, workforces and populations healthier. Their vision led to the development of Sneez, which sends real-time illness alerts and provides school-level outbreak reports as part of its mission to reduce the spread of illness among children.
In addition to parents, school administrators, public health officials and medical providers also may use the data to help manage and prevent incidents of illness in their community, Satterwhite said.
Sneez was introduced through a targeted pilot program in three Winston-Salem schools in October 2016. Within four months, approximately 25 percent of the families at the target schools had signed up for and were using the app to share illness information. The company reports more than 1,500 users in the Triad and 5,000 nationally to date.
“With more than 160 million missed school days per year due to illness and 126 million missed work days to care for sick kids, we believe the app will lead to healthier, more productive families and communities,” said Hodges.
Category: Press Release