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The Short Version: The Kinsa app and smart thermometer can help individuals, couples, and families keep close tabs on their health and the health of their children. The app allows users to record data regarding fevers and other symptoms, and it offers age-based recommendations while tracking how the illness progresses over time. Kinsa then aggregates this data to update a real-time map of human health in the U.S.
The moment my mom suspected one of her three children might be sick, she’d go into high alert mode and do everything possible to keep the germs from infecting the whole family. Everything the sick child touched would be thoroughly disinfected before anyone else touched it, and “cover your mouth, please” was a constant refrain in our household.
The sick child would also be wrapped in a blanket and shuffled over to “the sick chair” in front of the TV. The sick chair was a special treat — normally, only my dad sat in the armchair — but it was also a precaution against the spread of germs. Mom would warn everyone not to go near the sick chair, or you’d end up sitting in it yourself soon enough.
If you want to stop an illness in its tracks, you have to know when someone is sick and avoid contact with that person. That’s easy enough among a family of five — one deep cough would get you sent straight to the sick chair in my family — but extremely difficult when you’re talking about a school, a community, or a country.
Kinsa is an app and smart thermometer designed to help track individual symptoms as well as aggregate where people are sick so that parents and families make informed decisions regarding their health.
Lauren Davis, Vice President of Marketing at Kinsa, said the app has actually saved lives by keeping immunosuppressed children out of school when bugs were going around. Couples can use this high-tech tool to monitor health levels in their area and then decide what’s best for their families.
“Having that guidance and that peace of mind in a moment of need is really helpful for parents,” Lauren said. “Pediatricians and doctors love it, too, because it means they can look at accurate information regarding their patient’s symptoms.”
Kinsa’s goal is to inform parents and individuals about what to do when sickness occurs. The app not only allows users to record health symptoms — it also follows up with important and specific health-related information.
The What To Do Next section is full of suggestions for at-home remedies and serious signs to look out for. It can help parents discern when it’s time to go to the doctor, and what to expect as the illness progresses.
The Kinsa app aggregates anonymous information about people’s runny noses, fatigue, headaches, and other symptoms. The app uses this data to update a live health map that tracks the progression of illness throughout the U.S. The interactive map aggregates individual data to offer a county-by-county perspective on community health.
“We knew that data from families, in their homes, the moment a child is acting sick, would create the earliest signal of illness,” Lauren said. “Children are the primary spreaders of illness, and the first thing parents do – almost everywhere in the world — when a child is sick is take their temperature.”
Kinsa has developed a smart thermometer to automatically upload information to the Kinsa app and deliver personalized feedback even more quickly and seamlessly.
The Kinsa team monitors the spread of illness in real time by crowdsourcing data from individual users. It’s a big task for the small team. But Lauren said they are laser-focused on getting the app, thermometer, and other tools off the ground. Every success story from families who say Kinsa helped them stay healthy motivates the team to move forward.
Based in San Francisco, Kinsa keeps pace with the fast-changing tech industry and healthcare industry by being flexible to new developments. The startup employs a diverse team of young professionals who relish the opportunity to make a significant impact on people’s lives.
“One thing we all have in common is a shared passion for stopping illnesses from spreading,” Lauren said. “We’re all doing whatever it takes to make the company’s mission succeed. It’s a mission-driven culture.”
Kinsa employs a small yet dedicated team of tech professionals, health experts, and media consultants. The startup has some excellent perks — happy hours, catered lunches, etc. — but it also requires employees to think outside the box and work long hours to turn a great idea into a great product.
Day in and day out, the Kinsa team challenge itself to develop a more sophisticated, more user-friendly, and more popular health-tracking system. Their innovative spirit has led to unique functions in the app, including a bubble-popping game for children getting their temperature taken.
“Our employees are smart and hard-working,” Lauren said, “but they’re also just good people at heart. Kinsa’s mission acts as a beacon for some truly wonderful people.”
Every year, Kinsa gives away tens of thousands of smart thermometers to schools. The app’s schools program endeavors to keep responsible parents informed and prepared for when flu season hits. Parents can use Kinsa to not only monitor their own child’s health, but also to keep an eye on the overall health of the neighborhood.
The Kinsa thermometer connects to the app and provides parents with helpful information about how to properly address an illness. It offers fast, age-based recommendations based on the temperature recorded. Its interactive features can ease the minds of worried parents who want to know if a child’s sickness is a serious concern, or something that can be solved by drinking fluids and resting.
Parents can buy Kinsa thermometers at over 8,000 retailers, including CVS, Walmart, and Target. “I bought this thermometer last year when my husband and I had the flu,” wrote Granniebliz in a five-star review on Google Play. “Great temperature device and phone app.”
Kinsa has recently partnered with “Sesame Street” to create engaging Elmo-themed health products and avatars that resonate with children, and its fun interface makes the process of taking a temperature easy on children and easy on parents.
In the coming years, Lauren said Kinsa has plans to expand beyond the U.S market and help international communities curb the spread of illness.
My mom’s germophobic containment measures were a hassle, but they were also effective and kept us from passing colds back and forth like a hot potato.
Once you know a sickness is going around, you can take action to protect yourself and your family from either contracting or spreading the illness. Kinsa can help by delivering up-to-date information about your health and the health of the larger community. Its high-tech health tracking tools empower families to stay away from highly infectious areas and monitor their own personal health more accurately than ever before.
“Kinsa helps parents keep their children healthier, which means the entire community is healthier,” Lauren said. “Kinsa wasn’t founded as a thermometer company. We were founded as a public health company. We were determined to stop contagious illness from spreading, and the only way to do that was to know where and when it was starting.”