California-based tech start-up Kinsa manufactures Internet-Connected Thermometers. This has routinely detected the spread of seasonal flu weeks before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.When the Covid hit last year, the company saw unusual spikes in fevers about 18 days before states recorded peaks in deaths. Inder Singh, the founder and chief executive of Kinsa said that the difference is not that we’re smarter but they collect better data.
Many disease-tracking efforts, depend on patient symptoms, test results, inpatient admissions and deaths, that are reported by hospitals, laboratories and other health care facilities. Kinsa’s devices provide an illness signal as soon as someone feels sick enough to use a thermometer. Mr Singh said that we talk to mildly symptomatic patients. The health care system misses them.
Dr Jay Varma, the senior adviser for public health to Mayor Bill de Blasio said that during the epidemic we have learnt the importance of having as accurate information as we can get, in real-time, about how diseases spread through communities. The Kinsa partnership is going to help the company to strengthen our ability to understand new and emerging diseases that may pop up in the school community. Since 2015, it has distributed thermometers through more than 4,000 individual schools across the United States as part of its FLUency program.