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What temperature represents a fever? 98.6? Maybe. The 98.6 standard was developed as a baseline temperature norm based on a study by German researcher Carl Wunderlich in 1868. Researchers are questioning the accuracy of Wunderlich’s work. It may have been accurate at the time, but thermometers today, such as the Kinsa iPhone thermometer described in Health Attitude, are more accurate. Perhaps the magic number is not the same for all of us and should consider factors such as time of day, age, weight, gender, and ethnicity.

Boston Children’s Hospital researchers have developed the concept of feverprints, somewhat like fingerprints, unique to individuals based on multiple factors. They believe some patients are under diagnosed and under treated while others are over diagnosed and over treated because of anecdotal history of constitutes a problem for various diseases. The researcher’s goal is to gather data from 10,000 people using an iPhone app to record their temperature and other factors and develop feverprints for various diseases . So far, 1,700 people have downloaded the Feverprints app. By using a more precise baseline for temperature, outcomes could be better. See the full story – At What Temperature Do You Really Have a Fever?