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Electronic Design

Wireless Medical Temperature Sensor Resolves To 0.001 Degrees

The ability to measure body temperature to within a thousandth of a degree is now available in a wireless temperature sensor for medical applications; competing sensors have precision to only a tenth of a degree. The coin-sized sensor also incorporates power-management circuitry that extends its battery life to more than six months rather than a few days, as is typical. The sensor uses a Microchip PIC 8-bit microprocessor to process and compress the temperature readings which are taken every few seconds. Up to a month of data can be stored on the device’s on-board 2-Mbyte memory, which is downloaded via RF by a reader when required. Average sensor power consumption is less than 1 µA, providing for months of continuous use off a tiny battery. An early application for the sensor is in a product called DuoFertility, which is designed to inform a couple of the optimal time to try and conceive a baby. The sensor’s high precision enables it to read the minute variations in a woman’s body temperature that occur when an egg is released. The company is currently investigating other medical applications for its sensors such as infection response monitoring where the ultra sensitive temperature readings can open up new treatment regimes. CAMBRIDGE TEMPERATURE CONCEPTS, Cambridge, United Kingdom. +44-(0)-1223-437007.



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