Anxious? Paranoid? Hypochondriac? Johns Hopkins Has an App for You!

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Image of Emcaps via PACER
Image of Emcaps via PACER

It’s not easy being an anxious, paranoid hypochondriac. You try to tell people that either an anthrax attack or a pneumonic plague breakout is immanent, or that you’re sure that you (and everyone else on your street) will surely come down with the flu in the next few days–and no one will pay attention. Well don’t worry, worrywart! Johns Hopkins has some (free!) apps that can help you out.

  • EMCAPS 2.0 – This is a fun one! “Allows users to estimate the number and type of casualties that could result from 11 different disasters, including as anthrax, improvised explosive device, open-air explosion, food contamination, toxic gas release, nuclear device explosion, pneumonic plague, and pandemic.”
  • Surge – Helps hospitals determine how to allocate supplies and resources in case of a surge due to an outbreak of flu… or pneumonic plague.
  • FluCast – Helps “reliably estimate the number of flu patients a specific hospital is likely to see in a given week based on a specific hospital’s historical data and data collected by Google Flu Trends.

I just spent some time playing around with EMCAPS, and I’m terrified. I learned thata 3,000 lb. dirty bomb going off in a crowded stadium would kill 1148 people, and cause 2013 “trauma injuries,” while a mustard gas attack in M&T Bank Stadium would result in 1420 casualties. I’m sure gonna sleep well tonight!
Of course, these apps aren’t really intended for the layperson; they’re more to help emergency rooms and health departments harness the power of aggregate data to make smart decisions. But the apps are free (and available here), and they sure do sound interesting…



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