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The Kinsa Thermometer

These past few days I’ve been sick with a cold. When ill, one of the things I always do is keep a diligent hand-written journal of any medication I took and all the corresponding times. I’ve often thought about building a simple app to manage this for me, but Inder Singh, the executive vice president of the Clinton Health Access from 2008 to 2011, looks to be taking this idea one step further with, what he calls, the “World’s Smartest Thermometer.”

Margaret Rhodes writing about Kinsa for Fast Company:

It looks and functions like a basic thermometer; the difference is on the back end. The device plugs into an iPhone’s headphone jack, so instead of waiting for a beep and a digit for the results, Kinsa shows the degree-by-degree rise in temperature on the phone’s screen. This is where a normal thermometer stops–you either have a fever or you don’t.

Kinsa keeps going, connecting users with what Singh calls the “health weather.” Is the flu going around your neighborhood? Are kids at your child’s school passing around strep throat? Who’s down with the chicken pox? Kinsa wants to provide that context, with the aim of preventing unnecessary and costly trips to the doctor along the way.

To me, that’s exciting. I initially wasn’t thrilled with the way the Kinsa thermometer looked, but if you actually raise your phone to your mouth, you’ll find that it’s not an uncomfortable position to hold.

There’s no price announced yet, but with the range for household thermometers being anywhere from $6 to around $50, it will be interesting to see what Kinsa decide as a price point and if they will charge for the app as well.

Saturday, 9 November 2013