Coronavirus – maybe a peek into the future

There is a company called Kinsa Health.   They make ‘smart thermometers’.   Apparently when you take your temperature with one, it reports that information as well as location data back to the company.   There a million or so of these things out there in America.    That being the case, the company has a couple year’s of historical data.     They do a compare and contrast with the ‘average’ flu season.   Apparently, their numbers give a pretty accurate picture of what is going on in real time.    And they are usually a week or two ahead of the CDC in determining the state of the annual flu season.
This year they have added an “Atypical” designation … highlighting areas of the country where their data are outside the usual bands.   One would think that this would capture covid-19 outbreaks.     And it seems to.
Today, they added a “Trend” designation.     In most of the country – except for a swath of the Southwest – “Atypical” readings are in the decline.   Fingers crossed.

interactive map is here:

https://healthweather.us

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26 thoughts on “Coronavirus – maybe a peek into the future”

  1. drlorentz:
    Possibly useful tool for tracking COVID-19 but also useful to the surveillance state. I wonder what the privacy protocols are, if any.

    I want it known that I think the NSA is a wonderful institution with hard working employees.

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  2. Interestingly, Santa Clara shows up as “none” for atypical illness levels yet it’s the center of COVID-19 infections in California. On the other hand, the middle east coast of Florida is the hottest spot for atypical illness. Those look like a false negative and a false positive, respectively.

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  3. drlorentzsays:
    #5 2020-03-25 at 16:46 UTC

    “Interestingly, Santa Clara shows up as “none” for atypical illness levels yet it’s the center of COVID-19 infections in California. On the other hand, the middle east coast of Florida is the hottest spot for atypical illness. Those look like a false negative and a false positive, respectively.”

     

     
    Recall, you are looking at almost real-time data of temperatures vs the results of of coronavirus test samples collected several days ago.  Also, it is lumping high temps from covid-19 together with those caused by regular cold and flu.   Florida could be experiencing a bad garden- variety flu season.
    To me, the hopeful sign is that, regardless of cause, things seem to be on a better trajectory at the moment.

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  4. drlorentz:
    Interestingly, Santa Clara shows up as “none” for atypical illness levels yet it’s the center of COVID-19 infections in California. On the other hand, the middle east coast of Florida is the hottest spot for atypical illness. Those look like a false negative and a false positive, respectively.

    Given the odd demographic information from the cruise ship, if the data was analyzed with demographic information would there be anything interesting?  It does seem like it picked up a signal.

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  5. Ed K:
    Recall, you are looking at almost real-time data of temperatures vs the results of of coronavirus test samples collected several days ago.  Also, it is lumping high temps from covid-19 together with those caused by regular cold and flu.   Florida could be experiencing a bad garden- variety flu season.

    Not quite correct. There are three, count ’em, three maps in one. The “observed” map is an attempt to capture all flu-like illnesses. The new, improved “atypical” map is the one being highlighted in the OP, viz.

    Ed K:
    This year they have added an “Atypical” designation … highlighting areas of the country where their data are outside the usual bands.   One would think that this would capture covid-19 outbreaks.

    My comment referred to the “atypical” map which is purported to target COVID-19.

    Regarding the realtime nature of the data, the California outbreak is in early stages. If anything, it’s expected to get worse with time. If the map is only several days ahead, this question will be settled in several days. We can revisit the topic then.

    For now, I don’t see a useful signal here.

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  6. Ed K:

    drlorentzsays:
    #5 2020-03-25 at 16:46 UTC

    “Interestingly, Santa Clara shows up as “none” for atypical illness levels yet it’s the center of COVID-19 infections in California. On the other hand, the middle east coast of Florida is the hottest spot for atypical illness. Those look like a false negative and a false positive, respectively.”

    Recall, you are looking at almost real-time data of temperatures vs the results of of coronavirus test samples collected several days ago.  Also, it is lumping high temps from covid-19 together with those caused by regular cold and flu.   Florida could be experiencing a bad garden- variety flu season.
    To me, the hopeful sign is that, regardless of cause, things seem to be on a better trajectory at the moment.

    Coupl’a things.

    One is, there are too few Covid 19 cases to register so far.   That may change by next week.

    Second thing is, that with so much attention to ‘social distancing,’ handwashing, working from home, closing businesses, no gatherings, etc. &tc., then the spread of ordinary colds and flu should be greatly reduced.  Sure enough, that is what they see, except New Mexico and Colorado are a hotspot; evidently the flu is going around there.

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  7. drlorentz:
    Possibly useful tool for tracking COVID-19 but also useful to the surveillance state. I wonder what the privacy protocols are, if any.

    No effective protocols.   All your data are belong to Google.

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  8. That particular brand is sold out on amazon. Their bluetooth oral thermometer https://www.cvs.com/shop/kinsa-quickcare-smart-digital-thermometer-for-all-ages-prodid-2180122 (I have had two for most of the last year) has been sold out on amazon for a while. They also had a hardwired version that has also disappeared. and they have an ear version.

    One obnoxious thing is that, although they say you can use it without the app, you still have to install the app to set it up.

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  9. MJBubba:
    except New Mexico and Colorado are a hotspot; evidently the flu is going around there.

    Again, people are looking at the wrong map. There are three maps. The only one that has New Mexico and Colorado as hotspots is the Trends map. That is not the one being advertised as related to COVID-19. Clicky-clicky on the Atypical button, which shows all of Florida as the hotspot, with special emphasis on a region on its east coast and a small spot on its west coast.

    Meanwhile, Santa Clara is as cool as a cucumber, as is all of California that is reporting data.

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  10. 10 Cents:
    What are the maps saying? I am having trouble understanding the data.

    They are saying, according to the 7 day trends, that if you are in the gray area, (Steady), you have neither an increase of temperatures nor a decrease of temperatures as recorded by the “smart” thermometers. That “gray” matches up to the great lakes and the oceans, so get out your swimmies and other flotation devices if you want to be safe.

    Now if you wait until next year, Charmin will have embedded in the paper tubes, inside the rolls of TP, a smart TP monitor. That will monitor the usage of the product and the data will be transmitted through Xfinity WiFi to a central location where they will them map out when you take a (DELETED) or trends in (DELETED). A handy map will show what areas have intestinal distress caused by the flu or other maladies.

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  11. drlorentz:
    Possibly useful tool for tracking COVID-19 but also useful to the surveillance state. I wonder what the privacy protocols are, if any.

    Yup that was my first thought, and I wouldn’t sit on your laurels about privacy standards. Those do not matter when NSA/CIA come rapping upon your corporate door.

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  12. 10 Cents:

    drlorentz:
    Possibly useful tool for tracking COVID-19 but also useful to the surveillance state. I wonder what the privacy protocols are, if any.

    I want it known that I think the NSA is a wonderful institution with hard working employees.

    You know I once worked at NSA. That change your opinion?

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  13. Robert A. McReynolds:

    10 Cents:

    drlorentz:
    Possibly useful tool for tracking COVID-19 but also useful to the surveillance state. I wonder what the privacy protocols are, if any.

    I want it known that I think the NSA is a wonderful institution with hard working employees.

    You know I once worked at NSA. That change your opinion?

    I can’t tell you where I worked for another 83 years.

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  14. Robert A. McReynolds:

    10 Cents:

    drlorentz:
    Possibly useful tool for tracking COVID-19 but also useful to the surveillance state. I wonder what the privacy protocols are, if any.

    I want it known that I think the NSA is a wonderful institution with hard working employees.

    You know I once worked at NSA. That change your opinion?

    No, it makes me say the words with a little quiver in my voice. “They are a bunch of fine people at the NSA. I wish DocLor wouldn’t say such bad things about them when off the grid. You should hear what he thinks the letters stands for. (Hint: S stands for Stasi.)”

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  15. Gerard:
    They are saying, according to the 7 day trends, that if you are in the gray area, (Steady), you have neither an increase of temperatures nor a decrease of temperatures as recorded by the “smart” thermometers.

    The Trends map* is not is not plotting temperature changes per se; it is a map of “illness level.” Their technical discussion does not specify how illness level is defined. Presumably it is something like the number of individuals who are above some temperature threshold.

    However, the “Atypical” map is the only one that the site purports to relate to COVID-19:

    We believe this last data point — which we’re calling “atypical illness”, may in some cases be connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The technical report does explain how the data are used to calculate Ro (which they call R) from the incidence variable, I, which they do not define in terms of their observable (temperature) in the document but may be defined in this paper that I’ve not had a chance to read.


    *This is the only map that has a “Steady” category.

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  16. drlorentz:

    Gerard:
    They are saying, according to the 7 day trends, that if you are in the gray area, (Steady), you have neither an increase of temperatures nor a decrease of temperatures as recorded by the “smart” thermometers.

    The Trends map* is not is not plotting temperature changes per se; it is a map of “illness level.” Their technical discussion does not specify how illness level is defined. Presumably it is something like the number of individuals who are above some temperature threshold.

    However, the “Atypical” map is the only one that the site purports to relate to COVID-19:

    We believe this last data point — which we’re calling “atypical illness”, may in some cases be connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The technical report does explain how the data are used to calculate Ro (which they call R) from the incidence variable, I, which they do not define in terms of their observable (temperature) in the document but may be defined in this paper that I’ve not had a chance to read.


    *This is the only map that has a “Steady” category.

    no comment on Charmin? You missed the swimmies too.

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  17. Gerard:

    drlorentz:

    Gerard:
    They are saying, according to the 7 day trends, that if you are in the gray area, (Steady), you have neither an increase of temperatures nor a decrease of temperatures as recorded by the “smart” thermometers.

    The Trends map* is not is not plotting temperature changes per se; it is a map of “illness level.” Their technical discussion does not specify how illness level is defined. Presumably it is something like the number of individuals who are above some temperature threshold.

    However, the “Atypical” map is the only one that the site purports to relate to COVID-19:

    We believe this last data point — which we’re calling “atypical illness”, may in some cases be connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The technical report does explain how the data are used to calculate Ro (which they call R) from the incidence variable, I, which they do not define in terms of their observable (temperature) in the document but may be defined in this paper that I’ve not had a chance to read.


    *This is the only map that has a “Steady” category.

    no comment on Charmin? You missed the swimmies too.

    That is cruel. DocLor spent time in rehab to break his Charmin habit. He used to sneak out at night to go to a 24 hour supermarket. He loved the 8 packs. Don’t click, DocLor!

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  18. Gerard:

    drlorentz:

    Gerard:
    They are saying, according to the 7 day trends, that if you are in the gray area, (Steady), you have neither an increase of temperatures nor a decrease of temperatures as recorded by the “smart” thermometers.

    The Trends map* is not is not plotting temperature changes per se; it is a map of “illness level.” Their technical discussion does not specify how illness level is defined. Presumably it is something like the number of individuals who are above some temperature threshold.

    However, the “Atypical” map is the only one that the site purports to relate to COVID-19:

    We believe this last data point — which we’re calling “atypical illness”, may in some cases be connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The technical report does explain how the data are used to calculate Ro (which they call R) from the incidence variable, I, which they do not define in terms of their observable (temperature) in the document but may be defined in this paper that I’ve not had a chance to read.


    *This is the only map that has a “Steady” category.

    no comment on Charmin? You missed the swimmies too.

    Nope, not into TP fethish. But I was correct in my conjecture that they used a threshold as one metric of incidence. From their paper.

    We considered 3 primary ways to capture ILI activity using thermometer readings: (1) weekly counts of total temperature readings; (2) total fever readings (ie, temperature ≥37.8°C [≥100°F] to match the CDC ILINet definition); and (3) the total number of distinct fever episodes, identified by distinct user profiles registering a fever in a given week.

    Still not sure which one they actually used for the map. It doesn’t matter because that’s not even the right map.

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  19. 10 Cents:
    That is cruel. DocLor spent time in rehab to break his Charmin habit. He used to sneak out at night to go to a 24 hour supermarket. He loved the 8 packs. Don’t click, DocLor!

    I’m a very stable genius, just like you-know-who.

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  20. drlorentz:

    10 Cents:
    That is cruel. DocLor spent time in rehab to break his Charmin habit. He used to sneak out at night to go to a 24 hour supermarket. He loved the 8 packs. Don’t click, DocLor!

    I’m a very stable genius, just like you-know-who.

    You are an Augean stable genius, Doc.

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  21. 10 Cents:

    Gerard:

    drlorentz:

    Gerard:
    They are saying, according to the 7 day trends, that if you are in the gray area, (Steady), you have neither an increase of temperatures nor a decrease of temperatures as recorded by the “smart” thermometers.

    The Trends map* is not is not plotting temperature changes per se; it is a map of “illness level.” Their technical discussion does not specify how illness level is defined. Presumably it is something like the number of individuals who are above some temperature threshold.

    However, the “Atypical” map is the only one that the site purports to relate to COVID-19:

    We believe this last data point — which we’re calling “atypical illness”, may in some cases be connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The technical report does explain how the data are used to calculate Ro (which they call R) from the incidence variable, I, which they do not define in terms of their observable (temperature) in the document but may be defined in this paper that I’ve not had a chance to read.


    *This is the only map that has a “Steady” category.

    no comment on Charmin? You missed the swimmies too.

    That is cruel. DocLor spent time in rehab to break his Charmin habit. He used to sneak out at night to go to a 24 hour supermarket. He loved the 8 packs. Don’t click, DocLor!

    Anonymous Charmin squeezer?

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