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Wisconsin Heights elementary schools use smart tech to track illnesses

MAZOMANIE (WKOW) — Katy Howe is the School Nurse at both elementary schools in the Wisconsin Heights School District. With more than 400 students, keeping track of whats going around can be difficult.

That’s why Howe signed up for the FLUency program. The program, sponsored by Lysol, gave the school Kinsa smart thermometers which link with an app on a parent’s phone.

“It gives me an idea if kids are having flu like symptoms or if they’re having a stomach bug or different things like that,” Howe said.

So far, more than half of the students have a thermometer.

While this year’s flu vaccine has been more effective, our area is still seeing moderate levels and flu cases are on the rise statewide as per the latest flu report. With the smart thermometer, families have a better idea what’s going around the school.

It’s all about being informed.

“It’s really helpful to be able to see, and be able to keep track of, if we’re seeing increased levels at the school,” Howe said. “If we are, parents can kind of monitor what their kids symptoms look like, to know if maybe they should get them looked at for the flu or keep them home if they have a fever.”

Sarah Duhr says it’s simple to monitor her two children.

“I’ll use the thermometer and then it just shoots the information right to my phone to let me know what their temperature is,” Duhr said. “Then I can check any symptoms that my kids are telling me they’re having at the moment and it saves it all right there.”

The program has opened the lines of communication when parents have concerns about their kids.

“I can leave messages in the app as well parents can ask me questions, i can answer back and that’s something that all the parents can see,” Howe said.

A Wisconsin Department of Health Services epidemiologists say while this shouldn’t be used as official illness surveillance, it’s may be a good project for kids to see how illness impacts their immediate area.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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