Are these temperature sensors reliable?
This is one of the big questions that users can ask when using this type of technology that will reach watches. We are all accustomed since childhood to know if we have a fever, we use axial or eardrum thermometers, and even the most vintage ones will have used mercury ones. But now the use of infrared thermometers may become much more standardized in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As has been shown in different studies, the results of these measurements are really accurate. Keep in mind that the body is not at absolute zero (0 °K), so it is constantly emitting energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation. Part of this energy emitted by the body is within the infrared spectrum, which will be what the sensor that exists in these new watches can measure.
Specifically, in order to capture this type of energy a system of lenses is used that will capture the energy, and it will be transformed through a detector into electrical energy. After processing the signal, it will be possible to generate a measurement of the temperature of the body where the measurement has been made through the smart watch. Thanks to this type of algorithms and sensors, it will be possible to obtain a measurement, although it is not always exact.
These types of measurements always has a range of uncertainty. That is, it depends on the type of calibration that the manufacturer has carried out, and which will be reported through the manuals, there will be a variation between the results. For example, if the device has an accuracy of ±0.2 °C, and the thermometer returns 37º, the actual temperature will range between 36.8 °C and 37.2 °C.
In other words, in general terms we are talking about a system that can be quite precise in smart watches, although it is always advisable to compare. For example, it has become clear that infrared heart rate measurement is quite accurate compared to measurements from a heart rate monitor. In this case, the same would have to be done, comparing the temperature indicated by the clock with that obtained by a traditional thermometer.
Smartwatches continue to advance to know what is happening in your body
When arriving at a medical center or hospital, it is quite common for them to take the patient’s vital signs in order to make a preliminary diagnosis. Between these constants It can be highlighted the measurement of heart rate, oxygen saturation, temperature, blood pressure and glucose measurement. Until now, it has been possible to transfer the first two constants to smartwatches, and now it is time to have the temperature under control.
The first two constants could determine if a cardiac and even respiratory problem was present in the body. Now a watch is going to take a leap in order to determine if an organism is undergoing an infectious process that is really usual. After having passed a pandemic this is something fundamental, since we have been able to learn that some viral infections can be fatal and sometimes we do not even know that we present them. With an alert that warns users that a body temperature higher than 37.5 ° C is present, they can go to the doctor for an examination.
Because as with other sensors, you always have to pick them up with tweezers. The true diagnosis of a heart, respiratory problem or even an infection in the body should be performed by health professionals.
But not all are advantages with this temperature sensor. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in our society who are undiagnosed hypochondriacs, and this coupled with a medical culture that is quite poor, can create real panic. In the minds of some people, having a temperature of 37°C is already synonymous with a fever. But it is not so, since up to 37.5 °C is considered a normal temperature and especially in the late afternoon.
That is why it is recommended that this type of sensor come with software that is responsible. This means that it offers the best possible information for knowing how to interpret the temperature and not receiving a notification for exceeding 0.1 °C above 37 degrees.
Although what is clear is that technology is advancing substantially in the field of medicine. The most important thing about this is that in the future there is telemedicine, where important investments are being made. Taking these constants with a clock and automatically sent to the doctor for interpretation may be the futureand the big companies are contributing as we are seeing.