Fun, gimmicky mobile app from popular OTC healthcare company
‘Tis the season to hack up a lung. At least, if you work in my office it is. The sneezing. The coughing. And the handshakes. OH THE HANDSHAKES!!!
During these colder months, it’s harder to try and NOT get sick than it is to just accept the inevitable and deal with being sick. But when we’re sitting under a blanket with tissues shoved up our nostrils, the thought of “who did this to me – who made me sick?” always creeps into our minds. Don’t lie. You’ve wondered it. I’ve wondered it. When your cat sneezes, I bet it wonders it too.
Well, to answer that age-old question, Health Remedies, an over-the-counter healthcare company, has come up with a simple mobile app to help us find the answer. It’s called “Help, My Friend Gave Me the Flu” and the way it works is the user allows it to access Facebook to scan through friends’ posts and check-ins to look for keywords like “coughing,” “sneezing,” “I’m sick” or “I think that’s my lung on the floor.”
The user gets that list of people deemed “socially sick” and depending upon who he or she’s seen recently, voila—we have the culprit.
The whole “Help” app idea is nothing new: the company has actually created dozens of similar mobile apps for all sorts of issues, ranging from “Help, I feel fat” and “Help, I’m going bald” to “Help, I’m sexually frustrated” and “Help, I don’t know what the back of my head looks like”.
Richard Fine, the co-founder of the “Help” franchise, explained the premise of the company to the New York Times as follows:
We want people to see that there are simple solutions. Most people shop by brand or product, and it’s difficult to know what you should be buying and taking. It is a confusing space for people who are not experts. We wanted to take what’s basic and works, and make it human.