Influenza Challenge

influenza challenge, influenza map

A potential heat map of flu for 2013-2014

We’re excited to announce the kick-off of the 2013-2014 Sermo Influenza Challenge.  Over the course of this year’s flu season (November-April), we will be inviting our doctors to predict the timing and strains of this years’ outbreaks on a regular basis.  We’ll then compare and contrast our results with the CDC’s Influenza Surveillance Data.

We will be working with pediatricians, family medicine, hospitalists, primary care providers, infectious disease and emergency room physicians to crowdsource incidence data at ground level.  With a potential pool of thousands of physicians across the country, we’re optimistic that our information will become a useful tool – an early indicator for providers and for the CDC going forward.

This is a new endeavor for us, so we’ll be watching to see how our data grows.  Will there be regional differences?  Will we be able to see new strains hitting the U.S. population?  How closely will our numbers mirror the CDCs?

The physicians tracking program has just launched on DocTango, inside  We’ll be asking participants to predict the flu season based on what they see in their practices.

The competitive element of the Influenza Challenge will be tracking:

  • Timeliness – how early were predictions made and competitors stick to them?
  • Accuracy – which predictions were closer than others to CDC results?
  • Precision – whose range of predictions were closer than others?

Everyone participating will have an opportunity to earn points which will result in cash winnings.  There will also be seven weighted drawings throughout the season.

The Influenza Challenge will run through the end of April 2014 and will be housed on DocTango, inside Sermo.   If you are an M.D., or D.O., please join us.

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