A start-up listed on Indiegogo has nearly reached its goal of crowdfunding a smart thermometer that works with an accompanying smartphone app to match symptoms with illnesses that are in the community and communicate with doctors.
The Kinsa Smart Thermometer has today surpassed over US$36,000 of its $50,000 goal that will fund manufacturing and marketing activities. Kinsa's goals are ambitious: it hopes to sell over 10M units over the "next few years" as part of a broader vision of using data analytics to improve public health at the local level.
Its platform will combine aggregate information from Kinsa users with government data on what illnesses are affecting local populations. Kinsa suggested that this approach would allow the parents of schoolchildren or co-workers to anonymously share symptoms, thus creating a better overall understanding of community health.
"Kinsa is about more than just a thermometer product: it's about the idea that our health is linked to the health around us...Historically, you'd rely on teachers, school nurses, or local health professionals to share what is going around. But by the time they know and tell you about it, your family is probably already ill," the company said in its pitch. It noted that the sharing of medical information is entirely optional.
Some of the Smart Thermometer's other capabilities are:
Accurate temperature sensors
Estimates of when you may recover based upon community illness assessments
One-touch dialing to a nurse
Appointment scheduling for urgent care centers
Sharing videos and photos with physicians
Of course, you can get a lot of this same information without buying a smart thermometer. SmartPlanet highlighted a number of apps and Web sites last flu season including Germ Tracker, Help, I Have the Flu, Google search data, and FluNearYou. However, those types of services are in their infancy. Could a home health instrument be the appropriate way to optimize health information sharing?