Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Kinsa Thermometer Data Suggests Social Distancing is Working

Kinsa, a company I never heard of until ten minutes ago, makes thermometers that upload data to the internet. They can therefore track the number of people across the nation with fevers. Their data clearly shows both the rise in fevers as Covid-19 set in and a fall since social distancing measures were put in place.

Interesting that even at the worst their data show fewer Americans with fever than in February. Presumably the things causing fevers in midwinter were less dangerous, although it is still not certain the Wuhan virus will kill more people than the flu does.

Some epidemiologists say this is good data, with enough points to represent the actual situation. I would caution that people with internet-enabled thermometers are probably more concerned about their health than others and therefore more likely to obey stay-at-home orders. But even that would be good news, I mean, it shows that we are protecting the most vulnerable against this plague.

1 comment:

David said...

To the extent that we're talking about home thermometers, I would be concerned that we're looking at a younger, better off, and more tech-savvy segment of the population, more like to be able to work from home and practice social distancing. To the extent we're looking at institutional thermometers, hospitals etc., I would be concerned that we're looking at those serving better-off areas--better off folks, again, being more likely to be able to work from home.