SOURCE: Kinsa Health

Kinsa Health

April 17, 2013 08:00 ET

Health and Tech Entrepreneurs Unite to Create Real-Time Map of Health; Stop the Spread of Communicable Illness

Kinsa Debuts at DEMO Mobile 2013, TEDMED and Starts Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign to Support Launch of the Kinsa Smart Thermometer

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, and NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Apr 17, 2013) - Kinsa, a mission-driven start-up enterprise supported by entrepreneurs and experts in technology and health, today announced its first product at DEMO Mobile 2013 and the launch of its Indiegogo crowdfundraising campaign to gain public support. Kinsa is also launching at TEDMED as part of The Hive, a program profiling 50 innovative startups in health, this week in Washington DC. 

Kinsa is creating a real-time map of human health, to track communicable diseases in real-time and enable interventions to stop their spread. Kinsa's first product builds upon the insight that fever is an early sign of many illnesses, often detected by patients in their homes before they have entered the healthcare system. To collect this fever information and communicate with the just-fallen-ill, Kinsa has reinvented the world's most widely used medical device: the thermometer.

The Kinsa Smart Thermometer is a smartphone-connected medical device that utilizes its mobile connectivity to enhance the features and benefits available to users beyond a fast and accurate temperature reading. Through the free accompanying Kinsa mobile app, users can track their illness history to share with physicians, access tools to better manage and plan around their illness, and view the "health weather" in their local area, including what symptoms and illnesses are going around.

One feature in the app, Kinsa Groups, allows users to see what symptoms and illnesses are going around a custom-created community, such as the parents of a specific first grade class or group of close friends. Users in the group will see that flu, strep throat, or other illnesses are circulating, but the data is anonymized so they will not see who is ill. This facilitates greater information sharing about when and where disease is first spreading at a hyperlocal level.

The Kinsa Smart Thermometer itself has no batteries, LCD, or processor, instead leveraging the power of the smartphone to allow the device to be thin, flexible, and comfortable to use, especially for children. The thermometer connects to the phone via the headphone jack, keeping its cost far lower than the costs of other existing mobile-connected medical devices. With a price point on par with most current non-connected thermometers, Kinsa's focus is on widespread access to better health information.

Inder Singh, Kinsa's founder and CEO, explains, "I am incredibly excited about what we are doing at Kinsa. Just imagine what we could do if we could detect the spread of illnesses in real-time. The data that one person provides could be the key in detecting the spread of flu or any number of other worse contagious illnesses, and lead to interventions that save lives."

Kinsa's formation was due to a meeting between Edo Segal and Singh, introduced through a mutual friend. Segal is a serial technology entrepreneur, creator of best selling mobile apps and smartphone-connected devices, and parent of small children. He was frustrated by the lack of information available to respond to his children's illnesses. Singh, an expert in public health, was inspired by their conversation. A former executive at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) who had led efforts to reduce the price of drugs for malaria, AIDS, and other diseases, resulting in $1 billion in cost savings and access for nearly 2 million people to life-saving treatment, Singh started Kinsa in early March 2013. Using technology from Segal and others, Singh and his team have built the platform and product that they are announcing today.

A number of experts and entrepreneurs in health and technology have come out to support the company and the health information movement it's starting, with advice and funding.

Ed Park, COO of athenahealth and Kinsa investor and advisor, commented: "Kinsa is not the usual health IT startup. Kinsa's idea of a weather forecast for health is potentially revolutionary and if anyone can bring this vision to reality, it's Inder. He's got the right combination of vision, experience, and track record -- and has already had a huge impact on global health. Kinsa is a great example of a company doing well by doing good and I am proud to be part of it."

"We are still seeking better ways to track infectious disease both at the level of the individual as well as the community," says Ken Staley, MD, former White House Director for Biodefense and an advisor to Kinsa. "Kinsa's approach is exciting because it engages consumers -- it can provide real value for individuals -- and at the same time aggregates information in a way that provides value for clinicians and public health officials."

Ben Siscovick, Partner, IA Ventures, adds, "Kinsa is positioned at the epicenter of the mobile health, connected device, and big data megatrends. By providing individuals with an enriched view of their own health condition as well as the macro health environment in which they interact, Kinsa unlocks a new paradigm for real-time health monitoring with far reaching implications for personal and public health."

Other supporters include: Eric Paley, co-founder of Brontes, a medical device company, and Managing Partner of Founder Collective; Andy Palmer, a serial entrepreneur and former CIO of Infinity Pharmaceuticals; Kevin Ohashi and Glen Gong, serial medical device entrepreneurs; Jonathan Kibera and Tom Fallows, Google Group Product Managers; Scott Orn and Eric Kroll of Ben's Friends, an online patient community platform for people affected by rare diseases; and others.

Singh continues, "I am thrilled that there has been such a positive response to our approach from entrepreneurs and experts in health and technology, but real proof will come when parents begin using the product and getting their friends to use it too. The most important thing to a parent is the health of their children and we want to help them keep their children healthier. We hope they will embrace it."

Kinsa expects the Kinsa Smart Thermometer to be available to the public later this year, upon receiving FDA clearance.

About Kinsa Health:
Kinsa Health is an early-stage startup that works at the intersection of technology, design, and health. We are transforming how people care for themselves and their families through elegant mobile software and unique mobile hardware products, all to advance our overall mission: to create a real-time map of human health, enabling society to track and stop the spread of disease. For more information, please visit www.kinsahealth.com.

About DEMO:
Produced by the IDG Enterprise events group, the worldwide DEMO conferences focus on emerging technologies and new products innovations, which are hand selected from across the spectrum of the technology marketplace. The DEMO conferences have earned their reputation for consistently identifying cutting-edge technologies and helping entrepreneurs secure venture funding and establish critical business. For more information on the DEMO conferences, visit http://www.demo.com/.

About IA Ventures:
IA Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in companies creating competitive advantage through data. We believe that using data as a core asset will drive innovation in everything from storage and processing infrastructure to analytics to data-driven products and services. With that in mind, we focus on businesses that use cutting-edge technology to manage and extract value from today's massive, occasionally unstructured, often real-time datasets. For more information, please visit www.iaventures.com.

About TEDMED:
TEDMED, LLC is an independent organization operated under a special license from the nonprofit TED conference. TEDMED is the world's only TED-licensed event focused solely on innovation and breakthrough thinking across all of health and medicine. TEDMED 2012 featured 71 preeminent leaders in health, medicine, science, technology, business, government, academia, media and the arts, who spoke before a sold-out audience of more than 1,600 Delegates. Jay Walker has served as the Curator of TEDMED since 2011. Walker is also the founder of Priceline.com. For more information, please visit www.TEDMED.com.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.

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