Mobile Health: New Tools for Office-based Physicians

Kinsa Smart Thermometer
FDA 510(k) Cleared in December

Self-billed as "the world's smartest thermometer", Kinsa, Inc., received 510K clearance in December, marking another milepost in the recent, considerable rise in smartphone-connected mobile health tools to be cleared as substantially equivalent to predicated devices.

Prior to receiving FDA clearance, Kinsa took pre-orders through crowdfunding site, Indegogo,raising over just over $50,000. The Kinsa Smart Thermometer (presumably called the "Kinsa" and not the "KST") makes excellent use of the smartphone screen. Where traditional thermometers jam a bit of information on a tiny screen on the thermometer itself and users can, at best, toggle between on/off and the temperature, the Kinsa screen plays "engaging", "calming" screens for kids to stare at while mom or dad sticks the thermometer where it needs to be.

The app also presents the results in an easy to read format, stores past readings in child-specific lists and allows parents to input other symptoms and illness information for reference.


Visual Dx
Image-based Clinical Decision Support

Used by over 1,500 healthcare organizations, VisualDx is not new to the app scene. The web application and companion mobile app employs a massive library of high quality, peer reviewed images to aid physicians in diagnoses.

Images improve diagnosis, the company says, and they have the data to back it up.

  • In a randomized, blinded study across a range of clinical settings at the University of Rochester, the application was shown to improve diagnostic accuracy by over 120% compared to text books and atlases. The average physician user had received just five minutes of training with the app.
  • In a study of patients admitted to with serious infections to hospitals in the UCLA and University of Rochester systems, VisualDx users were 4x more likely to be able to suggest the correct diagnosis. The control group of non-VisualDx app users had a diagnostic error rate of 28%.

The VisualDx mobile app is free. The product requires a subscription ranging from $20 to $39 per month.