Getting the inside track on digital fever thermometer technology
In the last half century, technology has revolutionised every area of our life – from voice command in the home to smartphones on the move. The consumer health industry has seen the same revolution with everything from sleep and calorie counting apps to wearable tech to monitor our fitness regimes. However, a lesser known but arguably more important area, is how digital technology has dramatically altered temperature readings.
Many parents will remember as children having their temperature taken with a strip thermometer or perhaps an old-fashioned glass thermometer. The strip thermometers have since been discredited as inaccurate as they only show the temperature of the skin, rather than the body, whilst glass thermometer posed serious risks when broken, from small splinters of glass to exposure to highly poisonous mercury.
Today, thanks to developments and innovation in digital thermometer technology, the way we take temperature readings in the home has been completely transformed. In this article, we will explore three major developments in digital fever technology, highlighting the benefits and considerations for each so you can find the optimum thermometer to provide safety and accuracy for you and your baby.
Tech showcase one: in-ear tech
Perhaps the most exciting technological development in the evolution thermometers in recent years is the advancement of in-ear tech. There have been multiple studies exploring the pros and cons of taking temperature measurements from different areas of the body. There is no debating that the ease and lack of invasion when using an infrared ear thermometer is a huge benefit for parents, but what tech is available to support accuracy with in-ear measurements?
When placing the tip of the thermometer in the ear it continuously monitors the infrared heat emitted by the eardrum and surrounding tissue. Since the eardrum shares blood supply with the temperature control center in the brain, the ear accurately reflects the core body temperature. As a result, when the temperature rises, it is almost immediately detectable in the ear.
Whereas the tip of other thermometers can cool the area within the ear where the temperature is being measured, resulting in variable or inaccurate readings, thanks to its patented technology, Braun ThermoScan® has a pre-warmed tip to ensure professional accuracy that you can rely on, time and time again. The soft speculum and tip also ensures the thermometer is gentle and comfortable on a child’s ear.
What many of us don’t know is that a healthy temperature varies from person to person and can also fluctuate throughout the day. Children and babies’ temperatures can vary depending on their age and life stage. For example, when teething, a baby’s temperature can often be slightly higher than usual. Although fever in children is generally defined as a temperature of over 38°C, clinical research has shown that the definition of a fever depends on the child’s age and what might be a high temperature in a new-born may be a normal temperature for a toddler.
Braun’s Age Precision® technology has taken the guesswork out of understanding the complexities of taking temperature readings, giving parents peace of mind when their little one isn’t feeling on tip-top form. This technology takes age into account when measuring temperature and reflects it on the thermometer colour-coded display to help parents to interpret the result more easily.
Tech showcase two: no touch tech
Another advancement in digital thermometer technology is the ability to take a reading without skin contact. The Braun No touch + touch thermometer – NTF3000 – is a forehead thermometer with both no touch and touch functions. It uses dual technology and ultra-sensitive sensor, so parents can get fast and precise temperature readings either in touch mode, by placing the thermometer on the forehead, or by holding it in front of the forehead up to 5 cm away in the no touch mode. The ultra-sensitive sensor in combination with the innovative optical system captures twice as much radiated heat compared to traditional forehead thermometers. The captured energy is then converted into a clinically-accurate temperature reading.
For parents, this is a non-invasive option which is quick and convenient. It’s still important to remember to account for external factors, such as wiping sweat from the forehead, removing hair and making sure the child and thermometer have been acclimatised for around 30 minutes to the room where you are taking the temperature.
Tech showcase three: the digital stick thermometer
Digital stick thermometers are perhaps still the most familiar digital option when it comes to thermometers. Although in-ear and no touch are more advanced, there is no denying that digital stick thermometers can be handy for busy parents on the move, as well as being relatively inexpensive. Stick thermometers can be used for oral, armpit and rectal readings and stick thermometers can be used for family members of all ages.
Sometimes, however, they can prove tricky with younger children who don’t sit still. However, at Braun we have addressed this challenge by introducing high-speed technology, with our Age Precision® digital stick thermometer PRT2000 which can give a reading within just 8 seconds!
These three key areas of technological developments have completely revolutionised temperature measurement at home. In the same way that you would no longer use an old-fashioned mobile phone without smart functionalities, make sure you’re not stuck in the past with your at-home thermometer. With such huge strides forward that could make such a difference to your baby’s health, it’s time to make sure you’re up to date with all things temperature tech.
The range of Braun thermometers provide advanced technology to support accuracy and ease of use. To find out more, have a look at our article on choosing the right thermometer.