Could a Fever Soon Be Detected By a Simple Armband?

27 February 2015, 16:47

Japanese engineers have come up with a cool solution for detecting a fever in someone who is ill. The regular temperature the human body runs at is 37 degrees Celsius, or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Normally you would have to rely on the back of your hand (not ideal) or a thermometer (sometimes hard to use) in order to detect any rise in temperature. You may already know that a rise beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit is not good. This would equate to a temperature of 37.77 degrees Celsius.

The new armband design will sound an alert if the person wearing it reaches a body temperature of above 37 degrees Celsius. According to the details provided it can sense changes of between 36.5 C and 38.5 C. This means if a person is ill they can wear it and as soon as the temperature rises to feverish levels the alarm will alert the person or people who are caring for them.

The armband is worn around the upper arm and is fully flexible, although the prototype version did look a little stiff in places. No doubt the design will be improved before it reaches the wider marketplace. However, it works by taking the person’s temperature under their arm. You may remember this is one of several ways in which a person’s temperature can be taken. The idea is that the technology could soon be used in healthcare settings. Instead of constantly having to take the temperature of a patient, something that takes time, the armband could be fitted to monitor their temperature on a constant basis. If the alarm goes off the caregiver would know the person has a temperature and needs further treatment to combat it. However if it does not sound they are fine.

The 2015 IEEE International Solid State Circuits Conference was the venue chosen for the unveiling of this neat piece of equipment. While we are probably still a long way from seeing it in action on a widespread basis, it is certainly a good tool to have around. The makers also said a number of other sensors could be built into it if required, potentially making the armband even more versatile and useful in the future.

Furthermore the band doesn’t even need to be worn next to the skin. While it can be worn like this one example showed it worn over the top of a shirt. Presumably there would be a limit to how much clothing could be worn in this way for it to work, but still, it is a smart invention. If it could be produced cheaply enough it might be something that changes the future of healthcare. Now that isn’t something you can say very often is it?