Already hitting over seventy percent of the funding goal detailed on this Indiegogo project page, the Kinsa smart thermometer goes several steps beyond simply taking someone’s temperature. Significantly different from the design of a traditional digital thermometer, there’s no power source, digital display or processor located within the device. Instead, the Kinsa smart thermometer relies on an iOS smartphone to display information related to temperature and the patient’s general health.
In order to take a temperature, the user must plug the Kinsa smart thermometer into the iPhone’s headphone jack and launch the Kinsa application. The smartphone display will show the patient’s temperature and launch into a general diagnosis tool. Users can select specific symptoms within the app to get an idea of possible treatment options. If the medical condition is escalating, the user can find a list of local urgent care facilities in the area as well as their doctor’s contact information. The development team working on the Kinsa is also planning on adding a feature prior to launch that will allow users to send photos and videos to their doctor.
In addition, the Kinsa application provides a way for communities to connect and share news of illnesses in the area. For instance, parents at a specific school can create a private group and share information about diseases contracted by their children. If a child gets sick for any reason, this could help parents figure out the problem quickly and seek the appropriate treatment from their pediatrician. Within the application, users can setup specific profiles and track wellness data over time. This information could be very useful to a doctor since it provides a detailed symptom and illness history.
The developers have also added an opt-in feature that allows users to share information about their illness with the general community. Or course, all data is anonymous. However, users can see where there are specific outbreaks of common diseases like the flu. Within the application, users will see a map overlay of their area and different shading on the map will indicate various levels of reported symptoms and illnesses.
Beyond the United States, this type of technology could be vital for connecting communities within third-world countries. Doctors and other medical professionals working in those countries could track a disease like malaria almost immediately, thus helping prevent the continued spread of the disease. To achieve this level of information sharing, the Kinsa team plans on shipping at least ten million of the smart thermometers within the next few years.
While the iOS application will be available at launch, the team does plan on releasing an Android version of the application at a later date. At a base price of $25 for a single Kinsa smart thermometer, the development team plans to ship the product by November 2013. There are also a few contributions levels that allow bulk purchases, specifically to encourage users to share the technology with their local community. As with all Kickstarter and Indiegogo product projects, be aware that manufacturing delays can significantly push back the launch date of the product.