Kinsa’s Smart Stick Thermometer does much more than just read your temperature.
The FDA-approved thermometer pairs with a free companion app that allows users to quickly log their symptoms, get accurate temperature readings, and receive medical guidance.
Once the thermometer reads that you have a fever, it can give you basic medical advice like whether you should see the doctor right away, if there are any medications you should avoid taking, and how high of a dose is recommended for certain medications.
You can also manually enter symptoms and photos, which acts as a handy log of the illness and its progression when you do go to the doctor’s office.
According to Inder Singh, Kinsa’s founder and CEO, this feature has been particularly beneficial for parents with multiple kids, as it can be tough to recall the progression of a sickness over time.
Singh started the company back in 2012 after working for five years as the executive vice president and director of drug access for the Clinton Foundation’s Health Access Initiative.
He visited several third-world countries and saw the spreading of illness firsthand. He decided he wanted to create a connected tool that could help people better manage their health.
The company went with a thermometer, since it’s often the first tool a person turns to when they’re sick, especially for parents with small children.
But Kinsa’s Smart Stick Thermometer also functions as a communication tool, where users can tap into a social network that allows them to get advice from one another.
The company wanted to help people understand where and at what rate sicknesses are spreading near them, which is why they created a feature that allows them to anonymously aggregate health information in a particular area.
Currently, Kinsa aggregates health information from 120 schools across the US, and will be adding 500 schools to that list this year.
They’re also looking to expand the data at a larger scale, starting with either zip codes or entire cities (depending on the number of people within a zip code), and eventually expanding it nationwide.
Users can also engage in discussions through the “groups” feature. That way, they can get advice from others who may have been in similar situations before.
Singh told us that parents have said that the aggregated health information has helped save their children’s lives, especially with children who have compromised immune systems.
“We were seeing an emergence of connected products and wanted to figure out how to provide people with what they need for their health, but to also understand popular health insights to inform the healthcare system,” Singh said.
Kinsa has begun donating its thermometers to Team USA’s Olympic athletes, as well as to their family and friends.
Those on location in Rio will also have the ability to join the Kinsa Olympic Village Group to see what symptoms and illnesses are being reported in the area.
The information will be handy for those traveling near the area, since illnesses like zika, yellow fever, and chikungunya have been reported in parts of Brazil.
The company has raised a total of $14.1 million in venture funding, with investors that include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, FirstMark Capital, and Founder Collective, among a number of other angel investors.
Kinsa’s Smart Stick Thermometer starts at $19.99 and is currently available online and in major stores like Target, CVS, and Apple.