Spectrum News Triad’s Elaina O’Connell recently interviewed the Sneez app creators, Dr. Bill Satterwhite and Dr. Steve Hodges.
Watch the interview here!
FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — It’s been nearly a year since two Winston-Salem doctors created “Sneez,” a free app that aims to decrease the spread of illnesses.
Dr. Bill Satterwhite, one of the creators, said he came up with the idea for the app after seeing a lot of sick kids one winter.
“[It was] just one after the next after the next and I thought it would be so helpful if I actually knew what was going around in this child’s school,” said Satterwhite.
Now, a year later, the app has around 5,000 users.
“The user base has grown quickly,” said Satterwhite. “People seem to gravitate towards wanting to know what is going around them the same way people want to know what’s happening with the weather.”
Satterwhite said the technology is simple; once folks download the app, they enter in their child’s name, school, and grade.
“Any school that’s on Google Maps you can use to enter,” said Dr. Steve Hodges, the other creator and a pediatric urologist.
If people wish to stay anonymous they can.
“You can name your kid whatever you want in the app,” said Hodges. “You can name your kid ‘Kid 1,’ Kid A,’ or their name but no one else will see that.”
Once the information is entered people self-report illnesses going on with their child such as strep throat or the flu.
“They have all been using it in very wise and non-hysterical ways,” said Satterwhite. “Many times people think, ‘Oh my gosh there’s strep or lice,’ and they won’t send their kids to school but actually that hasn’t happened over the whole year.”
Since the app launched there have been a number of enhancements.
“There are more features such as inviting a friend and customizing what alerts you get,” said Satterwhite.
In the near future, Satterwhite anticipates there will be a message board for users.
“People really want to share their story of the illness, and we hope to have other additions in later years that might relate to things like businesses,” he said.
The Sneez app is free and can be downloaded on either an iPhone or an Android.