3D Printed “Earable” Smart Devices for Real-Time Detection of Core Body Temperature

Review Of 3D Printed “Earable” Smart Devices


This paper describes a novel way to measure core body temperature using a three-dimensional (3D) printed wearable “earable” smart device. The device is designed to be worn on the ear and track core body temperature from the tympanic membrane (i.e., ear drum) based on an infrared sensor.

Methods / Design
An analysis of the current wearable landscape as well as current methods to measure core body temperature was performed and led to the design of the “earable”. The analysis concludes most body temperature sensors implemented in wearable devices are unreliable because they detect body temperature from the skin, which can be affected by environmental conditions. The basis of this design stems from oral, rectal, and organ temperature measurements providing more reliable readings of the core body temperature.

The analysis of skin temperature being an unreliable method for continuous accurate measuring of the core body temperate in line with my  ndings. Environmental condition such as weather and humidity affect the skin’s temperature, which does not always correlate to a change in core body temperature. Additionally, seeking methods to measure internal organs is consistent with my  ndings.

However, research suggest that rectal thermometry is the “gold standard” for measuring core body temperature. In a cross-section study of 95 elderly patients, rectal thermometry identi ed a fever in 14 of 95 (14.7%) patients who were afebrile orally and in 11 of 90 (12.2%) patients who were afebrile tympanically (Varney).

The non-inclusion of best standards within core body temperature measurement leaves the impact of this device in question. While tympanic sensors provide more reliable real-time measurement of an individual’s health and physiological state as compared to simple skin temperature measurements, The authors should also have de ned reliability based on the  ndings of Varney, Mantheym Culpepper, and Creedon.

Varney SM, Manthey DE, Culpepper VE, Creedon JF Jr. A comparison of oral, tympanic, and rectal temperature measurement in the elderly. J Emerg Med. 2002 Feb;22(2):153-7. doi: 10.1016/s0736-4679(01)00457-7. PMID: 11858919.

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