The HMS Swine Flu Center app isn’t messing around when it comes to educating people about the dangers of our newest global pandemic. Rather than focus on a few small details, like a coverage map or prevention tips, Harvard Medical School has created an app that throws all varieties of swine flu information against the wall to see what sticks.
This catch-all approach is part of what makes this one of the more disppointing medical iPhone apps. There are survival kits, video tips, and a work prevention section. It even comes equipped with a newsfeed that hasn’t been updated, save an initial welcome message.
The videos border on self-parody. While the “Hand Washing” technique video might serve as a useful reminder to remain sanitary, the video titled “Protect Your Hands,” where a doctor instructs users to avoid shaking hands during the swine flu season and bump elbows instead, sounds ridiculous.
Similarly, the “Survival Kit” section of the HMS Swine Flu Center makes H1N1 sound like a natural disaster, not a meaner version of the flu. Included in the survival kit is a check list that includes a battery operated radio with spare batteries and non-perishable foods like ready-to-eat canned meats and bottled water because you won’t be able to get to the store while infected.
The section that is supposed to instruct users how to handle H1N1 at work doesn’t even seem to load, no matter the connection.
While there is a wealth of information included in the video guides that is somewhat illuminating if you’ve been completely in the dark on swine flu, it simply isn’t enough to warrant the purchase price.