Technology Tracking School Illnesses

SAINT CLAIR, Pa. -- It's that time of year when nurses' offices in schools across the country are full of children feeling ill.

At Saint Clair Area Elementary School, the school is participating in a program aimed towards keeping its students healthy during flu season with some help from technology.

"Back in the day, back when I first started nursing, we had the old nursing thermometers, which were not always the most reliable, but these so far are very, very accurate devices," said school nurse Michele Turnitza.

FLUency is a health program by Kinsa, a company that makes smart thermometers that connect to an app, allowing school nurses and parents to keep track of illnesses that are present in schools.

"If you see elevations in the temperature, then you can log the specific symptoms, be it a headache, sore throat, achiness, things like that, or a rash. All of that information is then compiled and it's additional resources you can share with the doctor when you go to see them," Turnitza said.

All of that information can be accessed by the school nurse anonymously, to keep tabs on health trends and take proactive measures to keep the germs from spreading.

"My son went home sick today. I will definitely go home and use the thermometer to track his symptoms. The neat thing about it is, all that information will be sent to the school nurse, so we can keep an eye on what's going on in the school district," said first grade teacher Jackie Begansky.

Saint Clair Area Elementary School is one of 500 schools across the country to participate in the program. So far, 90 families here have the thermometers inside their homes.

"That can help me better prepare my classroom for the upcoming flu season and make sure my kids are as safe as they can be," said second grade teacher Amanda Holley.

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