An easy-to-use smart thermometer
Several years ago, Kinsa Health released the Smartphone Thermometer. It was a useful tool that allows users to save their temperature readings along with symptoms they were having on their phones so they could share the results with their doctors. I always loved this concept but wasn’t a huge fan of the Smartphone Thermometer design. It required that you plug one end of the thermometer into your phone’s headphone jack in order to upload the readings to the Kinsa app. Now, Kinsa has two thermometer products – the Smart Ear and the QuickCare, which takes the place of the older Smartphone Thermometer.
The QuickCare is a small, flexible thermometer that connects to the Kinsa app on your smartphone via Bluetooth. It can be used for oral, underarm, or rectal use. The tip is called the ‘comfort tip’ and it can be used with standard probe covers. The QuickCare provides a bubble game on the app that helps to keep children occupied while a reading is being taken. The thermometer will get an accurate temperature within about 8 seconds. The product has been FDA cleared (as of writing this review) and provides real-time guidance through the app about self and medical care that should be sought. QuickCare is packaged with a travel pouch and instructions for use.
Since I had previous experience with the Smartphone Thermometer, I was incredibly excited to try this completely wireless alternative to the original device. It has a very simple design. The probe extends from a round display which is a little larger than a quarter. There is a power button on the end of the display, which is a little hard to press in. This device does not come with rechargeable batteries. It instead runs off of one CR2032 coin-style battery. After you’ve connected it to the app, you only have to turn the QuickCare on in order to start taking a reading. It will automatically connect to the app and after it’s done with a reading, it will turn itself off within about 10 seconds if it’s not used again. You do have the option of turning the thermometer off manually by pressing and holding the power button for about 2 seconds. You do also have the option to take a temperature reading and upload it into the app later, too. The temperature reading will be stored on the device and the next time your app is opened, it will register as a stored temperature.
I have quickly fallen for this tiny device. It makes a chore a lot easier. I love infrared thermometers, too, but always feel like the thermometers that make contact with the patient are going to be the most accurate. The Smart Ear is also a nice choice, but in order to be accurate with it, you have to insert the probe really far into the ear canal. If you have a patient who is experiencing a headache or an earache, that can be downright agonizing. So for the majority of consumers, I would recommend the QuickCare as the best smart option for thermometers.
The app is really a great resource. Not only does it store your temperature readings for review at a later time, but it also provides you with an encyclopedia of knowledge to help treat symptoms you are experiencing. Now, one issue I have with this is that it’s geared toward younger persons. For example, if you look at the How to Soothe Body Aches article it states, “Call your pediatrician if your child’s body aches…” instead of referring to the medical professional as simply ‘doctor’. Everyone in our household is older than 16. Therefore, we don’t see a pediatrician. One of the main reasons we like to have a tracking option like this is for my fiance’s grandmother. She has a compromised immune system due to a battle she had with cancer 5 years ago. So, every time she feels poorly, we monitor it closely (including keeping a log of symptoms and fever) in case she needs professional medical care. She is the main reason for us needing a smart thermometer in our house. Because elderly persons can end up acting quite a bit like children sometimes (they can’t hold still, it’s hard for them to hold the thermometer in their mouth, etc.), I’d love to see Kinsa update their reference section to include a more accurate age range for people in that population. This type of update really doesn’t have anything to do with the device itself – it would be a software update through the app.
QuickCare is the best option for a smart thermometer in the market today. It’s very easy to use, the app is clean and includes a lot of reference materials, and it serves many purposes. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Kinsa comes up with next because QuickCare is a huge jump in evolution for their thermometer product line.