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DetectsFever app review: useful to indicate issue but thermometer still needed



The DetectsFever app for iPhone and iPod touch uses the science that shows that your heart rate increases when you have a fever. To get an accurate reading you must first create a profile while resting and not fevered.

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Forseen Issues

DetectsFever requires the patient to be still for 30 seconds. While this may not seem to be a long time, I have three children, all of whom hate having their temperature taken and thus squirm. This app specifies maximum relaxation, so it would work best on older children if your thermometer is at home, your battery is dead, or you just can’t find one!

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This app would also be useful for teens just moving out or off to school. Not many of them think ahead to needing basic medical supplies, and a thermometer is just one of those forgotten things! Many have iPhones though, so downloading an app that could suggest if they need to seek medical attention would be of great assistance.


Other Ideas

DetectsFever could also come in handy on car trips, while on field trips, or on out trips. Anywhere that a traditional thermometer may break easily or get in the way, this app would be of use. It does not replace a traditional thermometer, but it would give a guideline of how severe the fever is and if there is urgent need.

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On a field trip, you would need to create individual profiles for each student prior to leaving, however, so bringing a traditional thermometer may still be easier. I have tried out a few fever apps as I don’t always have a thermometer on me, but very rarely go anywhere without my phone. This one was the most accurate, and I appreciate that it uses the heartbeat of the patient rather than trying to detect the actual body temperature. Trying to get my children to hold the phone under their armpit was rather tricky!




Pros & Cons


  • Uses heart rate to detect a fever
  • Easy to use on older children and adults



  • A younger child or baby will not hold still long enough to get a reading
  • Must create a patient profile while healthy to get an accurate reading and this requires preplanning


Final Thoughts

DetectsFever iPhone and iPod touch app would be useful for people planning a trip, as long as they could get the profiles of their healthy family members set up beforehand. It would also be helpful for a student just setting out, or a young adult who has just moved away. It would also be helpful when you can’t carry a regular thermometer. It is not completely accurate though, so while it would be helpful as a guideline, I would suggest bringing a proper thermometer whenever you are able, especially if you have young children.



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