That all sounds great, but we wondered if smart thermometers are as accurate as standard thermometers. Based on the brand you choose, they can also get a tad pricey. So, are they worth it? Many doctors, including Rajitha Julapalli, MD, a pediatrician and medical director at Pediatrix Primary + Urgent Care of Texas, and Kellie Middleton, MD, a sports medicine specialist and surgeon in Atlanta, say yes.
“Smart thermometers measure temperature more accurately than standard types because they use advanced sensors to detect changes in body heat. This means that readings from a smart thermometer will be more accurate. Standard thermometers can give inaccurate readings due to human error or environmental factors such as air temperature,” says Dr. Middleton.
It's good to know that smart thermometers check the accuracy box, but what about their added bells and whistles, like keeping track of data? Are they really necessary? “As doctors, the more data we have about our patients’ fever, including the time it started and how high it’s rising, the better we can help,” says Dr. Julapalli.
Dr. Julapalli recommends using a smart thermometer that can keep track of fever and other symptoms. Of course, writing everything down manually if you don’t have a smart thermometer works, too. “I can see the value of smart thermometers for people who have busy lifestyles, multiple children who are ill at the same time, or who desire convenience,” she says.
If you’d like to dip your toe into the smart thermometer world, consider this one
Whether you’re a household of one or ten, the right smart thermometer can be beneficial. But choosing a high-quality brand can be challenging, and also costly. If you’re not willing to go all in on an expensive thermometer, you may want to consider one like the low-cost Kinsa QuickCare Thermometer, which comes with thousands of positive reviews. Here's a breakdown of what I like about this smart thermometer (and a couple of cons to consider).
I like that you can set up multiple profiles at one time, and there’s no limit to how many you can add. The app will prompt you to give information for each person’s profile, like age, zip code, and current symptoms. It will also ask if you’ll be using your thermometer orally, rectally, or under the arm.
What’s Good About the Kinsa QuickCare Thermometer
- First off, it’s a cinch to set up. You can download the free app on Google Play or the App Store. Just press a button on the thermometer and syncing will occur seamlessly within seconds.
- You can set up reminders for things like taking medicine (it tracks medication dosages, too). If you’re using an iPhone, you can also sync your data to Apple Health, if you choose to.
- Most importantly, the app keeps an ongoing log of your and your family’s health that you can refer back to, or share with a doctor. (If you have more than one kid, you really may not remember which one had an ear infection two months ago. Really.)
- If you’re tracking fever and other symptoms, the app will make age-specific recommendations about when to see a healthcare provider, which feels reassuring if you’re on the fence about the next steps.
- Finally, the thermometer itself is super fast. If you think you’re running a fever, you’ll find out in about eight seconds.
Issues people have had with this thermometer
- I didn’t have an issue, but, some people report trouble syncing the thermometer with the app on their phones.
- There are a few complaints listed with the Better Business Bureau that customer service is lacking.
The fact is, no matter which smart thermometer you choose, it’s always a good idea to check out the manufacturer for attributes like customer service and manufacturing transparency before you buy.
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