Population Health

November 16, 2023

Transforming a smartphone into an accurate, fever-detecting thermometer

A UW researcher measures the temperature of a personA team of researchers from the University of Washington has created an app, FeverPhone, that transforms smartphones into thermometers. FeverPhone functions without the addition of new hardware, utilizing the touchscreen and existing battery temperature sensors to gather data. This information is then run through a machine-learning model to estimate an individual’s core body temperature.

When tested on patients in an emergency department, the temperatures gathered from FeverPhone had a comparable accuracy to some consumer thermometers. While more training data is needed before the app can be widely used, it is the first of its kind and could help individuals with fevers seek treatment faster. Moving forward, the research team is hoping to expand FeverPhone’s potential for public health applications, looking to test the app on other smartphones and smartwatches.

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