Kinsa has long seen itself as more than a 21st century take on digital thermometers with its FDA-cleared device and companion app. The business sees a variety of applications for its connected device such as tracking pandemics, provide another source of data for clinicians monitoring a patient’s illness, improving patient engagement, and supporting parents with sick children. With its latest fundraise, Kinsa plans to expand patient support services through its app, particularly health education content when it is needed most.
China focused venture capital firm GSR Ventures led the $17 million Series B round. Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and FirstMark Capital, which have previously invested in Kinsa, also took part in the round, a company news release said. The company has raised $28.6 million to date.Among the new services Kinsa will provide through its app are real-time answers to questions users have when either they or their child is sick.
Among the new services Kinsa will provide through its app are real-time answers to questions users have when either they or their child is sick.
“We will expand the availability of features such as fever guidance, how to soothe symptoms, and medication reminders.” a spokeswoman replied in an email. “We see tremendous potential in using the existing Kinsa platform to engage with users from the moment they fall ill through recovery and beyond,” she added.
Kinsa has several retail partners but it also collaborates with other groups. Last month it deepened a partnership with Teladoc. that enables the Teladoc app to detect when users have Kinsa. Users can upload 10 days of temperature readings into Teladoc’s platform. If users want to share this fever data with Teladoc physicians, the data is integrated into their Teladoc health record. The patient’s temperature history can be used to support physicians’ diagnosis as to whether they are dealing with a bacterial infection or a virus.
Population health is also an area of interest for Kinsa. In 2015, the company developed health profiles for schools as a way to help parents share symptom data about their children anonymously. At the time Kinsa founder and CEO Inder Singh said that it may eventually share this aggregated anonymized data with public health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control to determine whether illness is spreading and map in which geographic areas.
Last year, Kinsa did a licensing deal with Sesame Street for a children’s ear thermometer to make the experience of getting their temperature checked less stressful for young children.
But Kinsa isn’t the only company interested in harnessing the potential of connected devices such as thermometers. TytoCare developed a multipronged, handheld diagnostic device that detects temperature among other tasks. Withings, which was acquired by Nokia last year, also developed a connected thermometer called Thermo. The FDA-cleared device uses what the company calls “HotSpot Sensor Technology in which 16 infrared sensors take thousands of measurements to find the hottest point on the patient’s head.