Keep track of your family’s health with Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer
Is good health important to you? It is to me. When I came home from CES this year (and last) I extremely sick with an upper respiratory infection that hung around for a little over three weeks. It was a nasty virus that ended up infecting my entire family. I visited my family doctor twice during this time and the first thing I was asked was, “Are you running a fever?” My answer both times was, “I don’t know.” I certainly felt as though I had a fever so I easily could have been. The next question I was asked was, “How often have you had a fever?” Again, I didn’t know how to answer. As sick as I was, the last thing I wanted to do was pull out our tired old thermometer and wait the painfully long two minutes for my temperature to register. Even more than that, I didn’t want to catalog my temperature readings to show the doctor on a follow-up visit. Fortunately, Kinsa Health had me covered with the Smart Ear Thermometer.
A little over a year ago, I had the opportunity to test out the Kinsa Smart Stick Thermometer. It works on the same principle as the Smart Ear. You connect the device to the Kinsa app and data is uploaded into your smartphone for review later with your physician. A similar as the two devices are, there are quite a few key differences.
|Smart Ear||Smart Stick|
|Syncs with Kinsa App||X||X|
|Health tracking & guidance||X||X|
|Use orally, rectally or under the arm||X|
|No batteries needed||X|
|1-second temperature read||X|
|Use with or without phone||X|
One of the biggest reason that I was eager to test out the Smart Ear — especially this last time I was ill — is because of its ability to take a temperature reading, store it internally, and then sync with the app at a later time. When you are sick, or when your children are sick, the last thing you want to do is ask them to wait for a handheld computer to complete a data transfer. The Smart Ear will store up to 50 temperature readings and then sync the data to the app when it’s connected via Bluetooth to your phone.
Another feature of the Smart Ear that is appealing to me is the connectivity through Bluetooth. The Smart Stick connects through a phone’s headphone jack. Well, if you are like me and you upgraded to the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, you no longer have that standard headphone jack. Sure, you can connect using the Lightning/headphone jack adapter that Apple provides, but that’s even more of a hassle when you are sick and just want to take a simple temperature reading.
To use the Smart Ear, you simply tap the power button to turn it on and then you wait for 3 dashes to appear on the screen. When they do, you can place the device gently into the ear canal of your patient. You don’t have to jam it into your ear, but enough that you are getting an accurate reading. Kinsa (and the Mayo Clinic) recommend only using this on children older than 6 months of age, older children, and adults. Digital ear thermometers of any kind aren’t recommended for newborns. In addition to this comment, the Kinsa Health website actually has the following warning regarding accurate temperature readings: Note: Avoid eating or drinking any liquids, exercising, taking showers or baths, or smoking for 15 minutes prior to use, as these activities can cause mild elevations in temperature. This is a little odd to me because sometimes you don’t know when you are going to need to take a temperature. For me, I was usually just waking from a nap so the eating, drinking, etc. wasn’t an issue, but I could see times when you don’t anticipate taking a temperature where this limitation might cause some issues.
Capturing a temperature reading with the Smart Ear only takes about a second. Once the device is placed into the ear, you tap the power button again and you will hear a beep when a temperature reading is found. Not only is this process quick, but it’s super simple as well.
To organize your health information using the Kinsa app, you create a profile for you and any family members you intend to use the thermometer with. When you capture a temperature reading, the app will prompt you to make a couple of notes about how you are feeling and if you took any medication. This helps to paint a full picture of your health and well-being. If you are plagued with a long-term illness, like I was, this can come in very handy when you visit your physician. It can help them to determine necessary treatments.
I’m a big fan of Kinsa Health and their mission that healthcare products in the home should always accomplish two things: reassure and comfort the user and provide context and guidance about what to do next. They have made some wonderful products that make life easier, which is always appealing to me as the end user. The Smart Ear is a wonderful device that works very well. The device itself is sturdy and easy to handle. One of the best things about it is that you can use it on yourself without the aid of someone else. I think this is a great smart device that every house should own.
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