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Fort Smith school using smart thermometers to track illnesses

Flu season is here, and one school in our area is tracking their cases thanks to technology.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — The Kinsa FLUency program is a smart thermometer that connects to an app on your phone. All you do is take your temperature, and it records it on the app. You can create a profile for everyone in your family, and it also lets you record symptoms. 

“Not only does it track fever, it tracks if you have a cough or any other symptoms, and then you can store those anonymously and other people in your child’s class and see that illness marked,” said Katie Kratzberg. 

Christ the King Catholic School in Fort Smith has been using smart thermometers since 2019. Director of Advancement Katie Kratzberg says this program has helped prevent the spread of common cold month illnesses like flu and strep throat.  

“Because parents can log symptoms in the app, we can check by classroom or by grade and see if there are certain illnesses going around, so we know if we need to do extra sanitizing or extra cleaning in those rooms. Then we can watch those students in those classrooms more closely if they start exhibiting symptoms also,” she said. 

For three years, the school has had more than 200 families participate in the program. It’s completely free, and parents just have to request a smart thermometer from the company. 

Brittney Owens has three children who attend Christ the King, and their family has been using the smart thermometer since the program launched. 

“I think one of my favorite things about it is the classrooms. You can see what is going on in each individual classroom. It has given me an opportunity because of that. If there are a high number of kids with strep, I’m able to take my kid if they have a fever or something like that to get tested for step and also give that information to the doctor,” she said. 

Kinsa says about 100 schools in Arkansas are participating in the FLUency program. They say schools can still sign up for free. 

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