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Map showing millions of smart thermometer readings could track coronavirus cases

One tech company thinks it may know where the coronavirus outbreak will spike next in the U.S.

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Could taking your temperature with a smart thermometer help stop the spread of the coronavirus?

One tech company thinks it may know where the coronavirus outbreak will spike next in the U.S.

An app developed by a company called Kinsa compiles a map of millions of readings from smart thermometers used across the country. The readings are collected anonymously and plotted on the map and broken down by zip code.

The darker the color, the bigger spike in unusual fevers, which is a signature symptom of the virus.

Health officials hope data like this could tell them days before an outbreak occurs, allowing them to surge help to an area and blunt the pandemic.

Inder Singh, founder and CEO of Kinsa, says the data hasn't been peer-reviewed or officially validated, but the company decided this week not to wait.

"We felt it was a moral imperative to get the data out there as soon as possible," Singh said. "It should be guiding and helping people to direct resources to where they're most needed."

Singh says Kinsa does not and will not sell the GPS data and makes it only as detailed as the zip code.

"It's not even possible to reverse engineer that data and get to a person's information," he said.

So far, the company has shipped more than one million smart thermometers and hopes to work with state and local governments to get more health data to improve the accuracy of its fever prediction map.