A new app available in Pittsburg schools helps track certain illnesses

PITTSBURG, Kan. – A new program is being rolled out at Kansas elementary schools including ones in Pittsburg to help keep parents and students ahead of the flu.

The best way to stay ahead of the flu in most cases is a flu shot, and good hygiene, but, a flu shot isn’t always an option for some folks, and with kids, they say they washed their hands, but we all know, they don’t always do that. So, now there’s a new way to stay ahead of the flu and other viruses going around schools.

It’s called “Fluency” and it’s an app available to parents and nurses. Fluency user Maggie Skakal says “I got an email, I downloaded the app, I was able to put in my information and when my child wasn’t feeling well, we took his temp, and it just immediately uploaded onto the app, it was just really easy.”

As part of the program from the company Kinsa which also provides free smart thermometers to all parents in participating schools. The program can track student illnesses and keep parents updated. School Nurse Joanna Rhodes says “This is a good way for me to send direct, updated information whether it’s about the flu being hit in our area, or whether it’s about how to prevent strep or whether it’s pink eye, any sort of you know, virus that’s going around we can talk about that.”

Joanna Rhodes wants to assure parents there’s no privacy concerns with the app. “There is no names, no other parent can see another student’s name or information, they don’t know who is sick, it’s, even with the communication with me, the only way i know is if a parent tells me.”

And for parents, it’s a great way for them to track illnesses at school and at home. Skakal says “I enjoy it and I know that I will use it as long as it continues to be a thing and I appreciate it just for the simplicity it’s super easy, it’s very easy to use.”

Just over 60 elementary schools are participating across the state of Kansas. The program is currently active in around 1,500 schools nationwide.