Inder Singh, former executive VP of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, is leading a new startup called Kinsa Health. The product is an iPhone app that aims to provide users with the current “Health Weather.” Singh noticed that there is very little information available to us regarding what bugs are going around and created Kinsa to fill that space.

The entire project starts with a simple device: the Kinsa Smart Thermometer. It plugs into the headphone jack of an iPhone. The thermometer was chosen as the centerpiece of the project, because fever is often the first sign of illness.

When using the app, the patient starts with the thermometer. Even if the temperature is normal, the app can be used to track symptoms and share them with a physician. Depending on the user’s level of subscription, they can either store data on their phone or use Kinsa’s HIPAA-compliant cloud storage.

Kinsa strips personal identifiers from user data and uses it to develop what they call the “Health Weather.” Using “Health Weather,” patients can find out what is going around in their area, how contagious it is, what preventative measures they can take, and what they can do to facilitate getting better once they’ve gotten sick.

In addition to local data, Kinsa allows users to create private groups within the app where data can be compared. That way there can be groups for places like schools or offices where data can be provided based on the people that the user interacts with most.

Although Kinsa has already created working prototypes, they are currently looking for funding on crowd-funding website Indiegogo. For various contribution levels, perks range from thermometers to spending a day with the Kinsa team and dinner with Inder Singh and other Kinsa execs.

The Kinsa Smart Thermometer is the type of product that can only be successful if it is implemented well. If only a small handful of people from different communities purchase the device, it really devolves from the vision that drove it down to a fancy iPhone thermometer. If it is successful though, it has the potential to better prepare patients to deal with the local “Health Weather.”

Although it may be a little more difficult to grab a flu shot than to grab an umbrella, preventing the flu is a lot more beneficial than not getting wet. If Kinsa Smart Thermometer really takes off, it could significantly impact the spread of disease in local communities by keeping people informed. A video demonstrating the product is below.

Source: Kinsa Health