When someone is feeling sick, usually the first thing to do is take their temperature to see if they are running a fever. However, all that a regular thermometer will reveal is body temperature – it won’t tell you what the ailing person might have, or what you should do. Imagine if this simple device could tell you not only what you are likely suffering from, but also the collective health of everyone else in your local area, surely it would be a much more effective first measure against illness.
The Kinsa smart thermometer is an oral device that does just that by plugging into an iPhone, and collecting and tracking temperature data through an app to create an illness history of the user. Using this device, Kinsa is also creates a real-time map of human health beginning with contagious illness. The thermometer itself has no onboard processor, battery or display – one end of it goes under the patient’s tongue, and the other end goes in the headphone jack of an iPhone. The accompanying Kinsa app then displays an accurate read-out of the patient’s temperature.
Once the user’s data is loaded into the app, they can then use it to access current public health records, or to access local Kinsa user groups, to see what bugs are going around. For any illnesses that match the symptoms of the patient, the app will provide recommendations for treatment, along with things to watch for. If the user decides that their doctor should be contacted, they can do so with the click of a single button. They can also make appointments at local medical clinics, or get in contact with a Kinsa nurse.
The app also allows users to create profiles for each patient, to keep track of their temperatures and other symptoms over time, which can be sent to a physician if necessary. Kinsa states their goal is not to diagnose people, but rather provide a health context for people in order to better be able to respond to illness at the first sign or symptom and help to prevent further spreading. The ability to show the ‘health weather’ in the local area gives users a real-time reading of symptoms and illnesses that may be going around, and in turn better equip them to deal with getting sick.
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