Kinsa a Big Deal- How Big Data Gadgets are Shaping Health Care

Even thermometers are getting smarter. The Kinsa thermometer connects to a user’s iPhone and allows for immediate data to be uploaded directly to a an app. The gadget is just one of the many ways technology is shaping healthcare and recent investments in the relateively young start up (established March 2012), reflect a growing confidence in the potential of big data usage in the healthcare industry. On Thursday, Kinsa announced it had accepted $9.6 MN in funding from investors.

The thermometer works like a regular thermometer and takes about 10 seconds to record a child’s temperature, while also providing fun animations for entertainment. Originally, the idea behind the gadget allowed parents to take the temperature of their child and track additional symptoms to allow doctors to then make a more informed diagnosis. The company has also announced the launch of its new “Fluency” program, which will allow Kinsa to track the spread of an illness at schools and in other small community settings. Individual data collected by parents will be uploaded to the cloud and then examined for trends.

Inder Singh, CEO of Kinsa, says in a statement to Tech Crunch,

What’s really special about Kinsa and the thermometer in general is that it is the first device, the first piece of hardware, that actually verifies that you’re sick… It’s the most ubiquitous medical device in the world and we’re simply piggybacking off of, and improving, regular behavior.”

According to an interview with The Washington Post, Signh sees this as just the beginning for Kinsa. Down the road the CEO envisions the app to also allow users to book doctor’s appointments, and/or connect with businesses that sell or deliver medicines.

Kinsa is just one of many new smart technologies on the market today with the potential to further advance the health care system and allow it to become more efficient through the use of big data. Fred Wilson, a well-known investor who became involved early on with Kickstarter, Twitter and Tumblr was quoted in the aforementioned Washington Post article as saying,

If I could only invest in one thing, which fortunately I don’t have to, it might be health and wellness over the next five years… I just think the change is going to be so dramatic, and the dollars, it’s the largest industry in the United States.”

 

Read more here- “Kinsa Health Raises Series A to Tap Big Data Potential of Smartphone-enabled Themometer,” (Stephanie Baum, Med City News)

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Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.

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