Aaron Goldstein and Collin Hill, now juniors at University of Pennsylvania, first had the idea for Fever Smart when Hill was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “There was no way for me to continuously track my temperature for signs of fever, which meant that it was difficult to detect whether I might be getting an infection,” said Hill in a press release at the launch of Fever Smart.
So they began to research the market, looking for an opportunity to build a better solution. How did they begin developing their product? “The person who lived next door to me in the dorm was a mechanical engineer,” Goldstein, now Fever Smart’s CEO, told Opportunity Lives.
The Fever Smart design relies on a tiny device that takes axillary (under-the-armpit) temperature after being applied with a disposable patch. The device communicates via Bluetooth to a smartphone in the room, which then publishes a continuously updated temperature reading that can be accessed over the Internet.
Alerts for low or high temperatures allow mobile phone users to catch large temperature spikes at the first possible moment.
The device has FDA certification and Goldstein’s father, an emergency room physician, serves as the Chief Medical Officer. “He’s been able to provide support and mentorship,” said Goldstein, “as well as helping us navigate the medical aspects of the business.”
The company’s goal for initial pre-orders was $40,000, which it reached after just four days in an IndieGogo campaign. After the month-long campaign ended, Goldstein said the company achieved 157 percent of that goal. As soon as Apple approves the iPhone app in the App Store, Fever Smart will ship the devices to the first set of users – likely in the next week or two.
Fever Smart has also created a parent advisory board to get feedback on how best to serve their target market. The founders anticipate that the device could be especially useful for monitoring kids’ temperatures when a parent is not home.
“At the end of the day, what I’ve learned is that there’s absolutely no substitute for hard work,” said Goldstein. He advises future entrepreneurs to spend a lot of time on product and market research and then be ready to buckle down. “You’re going to determine your own future, no one else is,” he said.