September 30, 2023

When the fever phone rings – DocCheck

A smartphone can be turned into a clinical thermometer via an app. You can read here how this is supposed to work.

who scored heart rateStep Counting, Sleep Monitoring – Smartphones and watches can now collect many health parameters and provide useful information about the health status of the wearer. Body temperature monitoring has also been working with wearables for some time.

Now researchers at the University of Washington have a clever method is foundTo measure body temperature using a smartphone – without any additional hardware. However they want a smartphone in one device medical thermometer Transformation. Highlight: The team uses hidden sensors, including thermistors, in cell phones. These sensors usually monitor the temperature of internal components, but they can also detect heat sources that are in contact with the device – maybe the forehead is hot?

The app calculates body temperature

To test the idea, the team first collected data in a lab. To simulate a warm front, the researchers heated a plastic bag of water and pressed phone screens against the bag. In order to take into account different circumstances, eg b. That different people use different phones, the researchers tested three models of phones. Also, they added accessories like a screen protector and case and changed the typography on the phone.

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Using data from the various tests, the researchers trained a machine learning model that uses complex interactions to estimate body temperature. Because the sensors are designed to measure the phone’s battery heat, the app tracks how quickly the phone is heating up, and then uses data from the touchscreen to calculate how much that’s due to the person touching the phone. As more test cases were added, the researchers were able to calibrate the model to account for differences in factors such as phone accessories.

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Stunningly accurate results

They then tested their app, called FeverPhone, on 37 clinic patients who were asked to hold their smartphone against their foreheads for 90 seconds while the app collected the data it needed. The results were amazingly accurate: The converted smartphone, fever app included, was able to keep up with standard digital thermometers. In the study, the mean absolute error was only 0.23°C, which is within the clinically acceptable range of 0.5°C.

If there is no thermometer on hand, perhaps patients can use their cell phones in the future. However, the application is not yet fully developed. As the developers have explained, more tests should now follow with other mobile phone models and even more test subjects.

Image source: Luke Southern, Unsplash