Kinsa, a mission-driven start-up enterprise supported by entrepreneurs and experts in technology and health, announced its first product at DEMO Mobile 2013 and the launch of its Indiegogo crowdfundraising campaign to gain public support. Kinsa was also featured at TEDMED as part of The Hive, a program profiling 50 innovative startups in health, in Washington DC.
Kinsa is creating a real-time map of human health, to track communicable diseases in real-time and enable interventions to stop their spread. Kinsa’s first product builds upon the insight that fever is an early sign of many illnesses, often detected by patients in their homes before they have entered the healthcare system. To collect this fever information and communicate with the just-fallen-ill, Kinsa has reinvented the world’s most widely
used medical device: the thermometer.
The Kinsa Smart Thermometer is a smartphone-connected medical device that utilizes its mobile connectivity to enhance the features and benefits available to users beyond a fast and accurate temperature reading. Through the free accompanying Kinsa mobile app, users can track their illness history to share with physicians, access tools to better manage and plan around their illness, and view the “health weather” in their local area, including what symptoms and illnesses are going around. One feature in the app, Kinsa Groups, allows users to see what symptoms and illnesses are going around a custom-created community, such as the parents of a specific first grade class or group of close friends. Users in the group will see that flu, strep throat, or other illnesses are circulating, but the data is anonymized so they will not see who is ill. This facilitates greater information sharing about when and where disease is first spreading at a hyperlocal level.
The Kinsa Smart Thermometer itself has no batteries, LCD, or processor, instead leveraging the power of the smartphone to allow the device to be thin, flexible, and comfortable to use, especially for children. The thermometer connects to the phone via the headphone jack, keeping its cost far lower than the costs of other existing mobile connected medical devices. With a price point on par with most current non-connected thermometers, Kinsa’s focus is on widespread access to better health information.
Inder Singh, Kinsa’s founder and CEO, explains, “I am incredibly excited about what we are doing at Kinsa. Just imagine what we could do if we could detect the spread of illnesses in real-time. The data that one person provides could be the key in detecting the spread of flu or any number of other worse contagious illnesses, and lead to
interventions that save lives.” Kinsa’s formation was due to a meeting between Edo Segal and Singh, introduced through a mutual friend. Segal is a serial technology entrepreneur, creator of best selling mobile apps and smartphone-connected devices, and parent of small children. He was frustrated by the lack of information available
to respond to his children’s illnesses.