First FDA-Approved Thermometer that Uses Your Smartphone


Kinsa Smart ThermometerMoms can’t live without their smartphones. We practically sleep with them. Sad, but true. Now you can add another reason to love them. The FDA just approved the Kinsa Smart Thermometer that works with your smartphone and can be used orally, under-the-arm or rectally.

A while ago I downloaded an app for taking my pulse just for fun. You place your finger over the camera lens and it reads your pulse. I wasn’t totally sure of its accuracy so I tested it against the doctor’s equipment and we were both surprised that it was accurate. I guess that’s why they are called “smart” phones.

Technology and fun wrapped up in a thermometer

Kids are moody and miserable when sick, which makes it a pain for a parent to take care of them. But every child loves to play with their parent’s smartphone–the phone is natural for them and not scary at all. Having a thermometer that works in tandem is going to be great for parents. “It’s been designed with parents and children in mind and leverages the smartphone to make taking a temperature a more engaging and informative process. The thermometer connects to a smartphone or other mobile device via the headphone jack and uses the display, power and processing of the smartphone to determine a precise temperature reading — with fewer components in the thermometer, it is compact, thin, and highly flexible, making it more comfortable to use. Kinsa uses the smartphone’s display screen to provide fun, animated visuals throughout a temperature reading – calming, distracting and engaging children throughout the process. The display also shows reading progress and alerts parents if the thermometer slips out of place. Users can create individual profiles for the whole family and, with a few taps, track their fever, symptom and illness history,” said Kinsa.

Think this piece of technological genius is going to be expensive? Nope–it’s only $14.99.

Kinsa screensImagine “health weather” and knowing where diseases are spreading.

As parents, we’ve all gotten those notices sent home from school warning about some outbreak in the school… strep throat, flu and bronchitis come top of mind. Kinsa’s vision is adding additional software features to provide alerts when there is an illness outbreak in the local area or at your child’s school. “By combining a thermometer with a smartphone, we’ve created a communication channel with the ill, providing users with far more value than today’s thermometers can,” explained Inder Singh, founder and CEO of Kinsa. Imagine checking the ‘health weather’ and getting a real-time understanding of where any sickness might be in your neighborhood. Health weather will take working closely with health agencies like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and state and local health departments.

“The world is seeking better ways to track infectious disease both at the level of the individual and the community. Kinsa’s approach is exciting because it engages consumers – it can provide real value for individuals – and at the same time aggregates information in a way that could help predict and hopefully prevent illnesses like influenza” explained Ken Staley, MD, former White House Director for Biodefense and an advisor to Kinsa.

Kinsa is currently taking pre-orders for delivery in March or April on its website.


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