Kinsa’s Smart Thermometer is an internet-connected thermo-checking device that can help forecast the spread of COVID-19. Kinsa aggregates the temperature and symptoms data it receives from the thermometers and analyzes them to identify unusual clusters of fever. A sudden spike that far exceeds estimates for flu for a given date may well indicate that the coronavirus has arrived in a certain area. It has been far quicker and more accurate in detecting outbreaks of COVID-19 and in tracking the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.
- The thermometers connect to a cellphone app that instantly transmits temperature readings and symptoms to the company. The app then gives them general advice on when to seek medical attention. The real-time data collected are published in the form of a visual map.
- Company scientists are uniquely positioned to identify unusual clusters of fever because they have years of data for expected flu cases in each ZIP code. A sudden spike that far exceeds estimates for flu for a given date may indicate that there is a coronavirus outbreak in a specific area.
- The maps and data are posted on medRxiv, an online repository of medical articles and www.healthweather.us.
- Kinsa has sold or given away more than a million smart thermometers to households across the United States.
- They are able to sell around 10,000 thermometers a day.
- Kinsa’s latest map of fever spikes shows areas that are known to have many cases of COVID-19.
- In detecting outbreaks, temperature readings have been far quicker and more accurate than other rapid measures, such as tracking cough medicine sales and electronic medical records.
Sources: J Post, NY Times, TechCrunch, Fast Company