CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Imagine if a thermometer that did more than read your temperature. What if it also helped track illness outbreaks and offered guided information on how to care for your symptoms?
That is exactly what the Kinsa Smart Thermometer does and it's being used in more than 100 schools across Texas, including a school in Corpus Christi.
It's the latest in big health technology and it's helping educators navigate a global pandemic.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it not only impacted the economy with the loss of jobs and businesses, it impacted the way our children were able to learn taking them out of the classroom and forcing them to virtual learning online.
Now that students are back in schools, keeping them there is key. And helping with that goal is a smart thermometer that's allowing schools like St. Pius X Catholic School to not only track symptoms of illness outbreaks among students but offers personalized care right at their fingertips.
"It's a tool that we use and we can keep outbreaks from happening and keep everyone health," said Beth Hinojosa, St. Pius X Catholic School principal. "It kind of gives us a head start to see what's going around in the classroom."
The Kinsa Fluency Program is being used in 4,000 schools across the county and in more than 100 in Texas. The thermometer then pairs up to a smart phone via an app.
When parents or nurse uses the thermometer it offers options to treat symptoms such as rest, take ibuprofen or even go to an emergency room. That data is then uploaded through the app, allowing educators to pinpoint which grade is possibly getting sick.
"It's really hard to be online and it's stressful because you teacher isn't there and you can't really ask them questions personally," St. Pius sixth grader Sofia Porter said. "So, it's a lot easier when you're here at school."
The thermometer allows staff to stay ahead of any major outbreak with the goal of keeping classrooms full and campuses clean.
"It's sponsored by Lysol, so Lysol sends us cleaning products when a parent signs up," said St. Pius X Catholic School health coordinator Paula Vargas. "So, if we have 20 parents sign up, we get 20 boxes of Lysol. It works hand and hand with cleaning and keeping our kids safe."
The Kinsa Fluency Program is a free health program designed to give parents and schools the edge when it comes to navigating the pandemic.
And as more schools and families sign up, the closer educators believe schools are to never having to shut down again.