GlaxoSmithKline Plc (NYSE:GSK) is forging forward with its cold and flu tracker app even on coming under criticism from skeptics who continue to question the motive behind its unveiling. A point of concern to the critics is that showing the number of people suffering from cold or flu in a given geographic could affect other people.
Last year Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) was forced to pull the plug on a similar tool dubbed Google Flu Trends after come under immense criticism. Skeptics of such tools insist that big companies could end up using the tools to popularize their own products instead of informing the public. However, that has not stopped the pharmaceutical giant from marketing the new set of tools.
Now available on the Weather Company’s website, the Cold and Flu Tracker app allows people to find in real time actual data of viral activity in various geographic locations. GlaxoSmithKline insists that by making such kind of information available, people will be able to take the necessary action when visiting areas prone to high levels of virus activity.
Consumer Health Market Push
GSK chief marketing officer, Theresa Agnew, believes the new app will not only prevent everyday illnesses but also help senior citizens and fragile populations commonly affected by cold and flu.
“The combination of social sentiment and cognitive learning will not only inform and advise consumers, but it will provide fantastic insights for the marketing team as well in terms of knowing when to merchandise and market the Theraflu brand in different areas throughout the country,” said Agnew.
The Cold and Flu Tracker app is also part of the pharmaceutical giant push to unveil a new Theraflu ExpressMax Caplets. This is not the first time that Glaxo has made a push for market share with new products in the consumer health market. Last year it teamed up with Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) for the launch of an over the counter joint venture.
GlaxoSmithKline stock was on the receiving end in Monday’s trading session, having shed 1.21% in market value to close the day at lows of $41.19 a share. Shares rebounded on Tuesday, gaining 1.38%.