I am on a quest to replace all of my ordinary medical devices with smart devices that log and synch with an app or can transfer data.
Most recently, I purchased several “smart” thermometers. But I have found them to be less useful than I had hoped. What follows is my review of them and my personal pros and cons of each.
Kinsa - the UI in the app is pretty good, but the thermometer only takes readings while physically connected to the phone.
CVS OUcare - the thermometer itself is just what I wanted, but the UI is terrible and it doesn’t easily synch.
Vicks Smart Temp - so far, I like this the best. The app is very user friendly and the temperature readings seem to be relaticely acurate. The thermometer looks and feels like an ordinary oral thermometer (though it can be used diffefent ways - oral, underarm, rectal). It lets you email a pdf of the data to export it, but the data isn’t exportable in a more useful format - even csv. It also won’t synch with my other tracking or health apps. And the precision is a bit less than I’d like (1 decimal place only).
Temp Sitter by irulu - supposedly this provides continuous temperature monitoring using skin contact. This feature seemed immensely useful for me to track skin temperature rather than oral body temperature and maybe to understand my daytime sleepineas better. However, the instruction manual is very clear that the thermometer is meant for infants and that adult use will not produce acurate readings because of muscle and body fat. The device also requires the use of sticky electrode pads which I am sensitive to, so I haven’t tried it yet.
Smart Temp by Infant tech - this one arrived without instructions, so I haven’t tried it yet.
Any suggestions for exporting or synching the data? For anyone else who tracks temps, what do you use and hiw do you like it?
~ Sarah W
I use the Kinsa thermostat and like it. I see your point about having to have it plugged into the phone, but it hasn’t been an issue for me.
The Kinsa app writes it’s data to Healthkit, which is important for me because I can then export it using the QS Access app.
I find it interesting that the device has a long reading mode. This takes, maybe, three minutes to complete. I assume that this will give you a more accurate reading, though it makes me wonder what shortcuts or assumptions the short reading mode is making. And if there are similar issues with other thermostats.
In terms of getting data out, if you have an iPhone, you may want to get into the habit of manually entering your data into the Health app whenever you take a measurement. I measure my blood oxygen level at the same time as I take my temperature and I have to manually enter it that way.
I haven’t tried any other smart thermostats.
Haven’t used it myself, but measurements taken with a Withings/Nokia Thermo can be exported as a CSV file from their web dashboard, or automatically sent to Apple Health or Google Fit.
If you’re willing to tape something to your body and sync the csv every week or month (depending on sampling frequency) or so, i recommend thermochron ibuttons. The data is great. It’s not designed as a wearable so there are zero bells and whistles. I use it to track my cycles and wrote about it here: http://quantifiedself.com/2017/04/hot-stuff-body-temperature-tracking-ovulatory-cycles/
Thoughts or advice on where it needs to be on a body? I’d love to attach one on say, my ankle, but a lot of temperature wearables I’ve seen are for under the arm or on the core of someone’s body.
I imagine extremities (e.g. ankle or wrist) would have a lot more variation in temp based on the environment, but if I were interested in mostly a reliably timed BBT for tracking my cycle, as long as how/where I sleep isn’t drastically changing it may still be comparable?
Very good question.
I’ve worked with skin temp data from the inner wrist, ankle, and abdomen (a few inches below the armpit, side of ribcage). All are a little bit different but should show the post-ovulatory rise in temperature. Not wrong to explore other locations. As for environment, there is some noise there but I haven’t noticed it obscuring the cycle overall. It will take some data analysis savvy on your part to work with the ibutton data. Happy to give you pointers/scripts to run, but it is in no way a consumer wearable for super easy use.
An alternate that is way more user-friendly is the oura ring. They measure temperature deviation night-by-night. Because temp deviates high with the rise in progesterone, that seems to be carry information like bbt. Not marketed as a cycle tracking device, but the data are great.
I’m currently running a study doing some validation/exploration of ibuttons vs. oura rings vs. bbt… so the answers aren’t known for sure yet — but our initial data suggests that all outputs carry the signal.