Researchers at the University of Washington have developed an app called FeverPhone, which can turn smartphones into thermometers without the need for additional hardware. The app uses the phone’s touchscreen and existing battery temperature sensors to estimate people’s core body temperatures. In a test on 37 patients, the app’s temperature estimates were accurate compared to some consumer thermometers. The app has the potential to be used in emergency departments, allowing for quick fever diagnoses. It could also be used to share fever results with public health agencies, helping to intervene sooner during outbreaks. The researchers used the sensors in smartphones that are typically used to monitor battery temperature to track heat transfer between a person and the phone. The app needs more training data before it can be widely used, but it offers an exciting opportunity for doctors. The researchers are also exploring the possibility of using the app on smartwatches. Further investigation is needed to test the app on severe fevers and different phone models. The research was supported by the University of Washington Gift Fund.

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