NIU Researchers Will Test Health App Effectiveness

Sep 27, 2017
Flickr user Leonardo Angelini / "#fitness" (CC V 2.0)

Northern Illinois University health and computer science researchers want to test how a fitness app they developed works.

Researchers say they hope to have 100 people participate in the test. The eight-week study looks at how fitness apps and health behavior may be connected.

Participants would download the app to their phones, use it when they work out, and see how effective it is. The features would be adjusted continually by researchers.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

There’s a significant increase in reported gonorrhea cases in Winnebago County, according to the county’s health department.

The number of reported gonorrhea cases in the first half of this year increased by 50 percent from the number of cases reported in the first half of 2015. Todd Kisner, who is with the Winnebago County Health Department, says that’s a difference of more than 100 cases.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Counties across northern Illinois are part of a state-wide test this week for distributing medical supplies in case of a public health emergency.

The mass dispensing plan required by the state will measure how quickly county public health systems can distribute medicine and medical supplies during a public health emergency. State health officials say it will simulate a bioterrorism attack, but similar tactics also can be applied for large-scale disease outbreaks.


The rate of Illinois residents with health insurance continues to grow.

In 2013, nearly 18 percent of Illinois adults didn’t have insurance.

The next year, the Affordable Care Act took effect. The rate of uninsured dropped to 15 percent that year.

Last year, it continued to fall.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control puts the figure at more than 10 percent. That insurance comes from Obamacare for many Illinoisans.

Associated Press / NPR

Pope Francis says contraception might be acceptable for women threatened by the Zika virus. 

John Peller with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago says that’s given him hope that the exception might extend to other communicable diseases.

“We’re glad to see that the Pope is opening the door to condom use in a public health emergency and we think it’s really high time that the church recognized the role that condoms can have as a critical public health tool,” Peller said.