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Research Letter
November 2015

Potential Utility of a Smart Thermometer to Predict and Avert Epidemics

Author Affiliations
  • 1Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute, Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development, Seattle, Washington
  • 2Associate Editor, JAMA Pediatrics

Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(11):1067-1068. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.1162

Recent epidemics and fear of epidemics have increased the importance of passive surveillance of fever and symptoms at a population level. The Kinsa Smart Thermometer combines an interactive app and a US Food and Drug Administration–approved digital thermometer that connects to a user's mobile device. Together, the hardware and software measure the user's temperature as well as collect attendant symptoms. Data are uploaded to the cloud, and via geocoding, users will be able see what other symptoms and fevers are present in their local area. Widespread uptake of such a technology would not only give individuals access to local data but, at a population level, could provide a way of tracking, predicting, and potentially preventing the spread of contagious illnesses, thereby mitigating epidemics. The purpose of this study was to describe usage and trends in fever and symptoms based on early data from Kinsa thermometer usage nationally.

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