Despite the coronavirus lockdown, the seals of Boston's New England Aquarium are still being taken care of and trained by trainers while the famous tourist attraction is closed.
READ MORE: There’s a race on to predict where the COVID-19 virus is growing, what social distancing measures are working and when it will be safe to open society again.
But to do that takes data and the ability to detect signals in the noise of information. Governments are turning to tech companies such as Facebook and Google to see if location data might offer help.
One unlikely place to turn: A smart thermometer that is connected to the internet. Fever is one of the common symptoms of the novel coronavirus and capturing fever data – in real time – might be an indicator of where the virus is moving.
More than 100,000 temperatures are taken each day on a Kinsa smart thermometer, which costs about $35. A user’s temperature connects via Bluetooth and is uploaded to a central database at Kinsa Health, a San Francisco-based firm. The data is aggregated, and the company looks for patterns such as where the seasonal flu is popping up, often weeks ahead of public health organizations, according to the firm.