Findings for the first time show that the use of digital sensors in medical diagnostic applications has significantly improved the quality of care.
The research, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, was led by Dr. Anupama Gopalakrishnan, who was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and is now a faculty member at Johns.
Gopalakumar and his colleagues used data from the Digital Thermometer Imaging System (DTS), a portable digital thermometer that can measure heat at a variety of temperatures.
The device was developed by the Advanced Digital Thermonuclear Device (ADT), a collaboration between a company called Kite Corporation and the University of Michigan.
The team also studied a different model from a company that has recently been awarded a patent for the DTS.
“There’s a lot of pressure on manufacturers to make devices that have high-quality sensors and low-cost,” said Gopalamakrishnam, the lead author of the paper.
“This paper suggests that these sensors can also be used in an affordable, accessible and safe way.”
The researchers focused on two models of the Dts.
One uses a digital thermocouple, a single unit of heat-detection circuitry, to measure temperature.
The other uses a DTS with a series of heat sensors that measure various temperatures.
The devices can detect various temperatures, including infrared, which is used in diagnostic applications such as blood tests, radiographs and imaging.
The DTSs sensors can measure temperature from infrared and ultraviolet light, which are emitted by skin, as well as from various other wavelengths of light.
The researchers found that the Dots are much better at detecting infrared heat than they were previously thought.
For example, they found that infrared heat measured at an infrared sensor is only half as sensitive as infrared at an ultraviolet sensor.
And infrared heat is only 1/20th as sensitive to infrared light as infrared light at a UV sensor.
“The infrared sensor and the UV sensor are both very good,” Gopalachkar said.
“But in terms of sensitivity to heat, the infrared sensor was more sensitive to heat.
The UV sensor was just as sensitive.”
These results show that sensors can be very sensitive to different types of heat.
It also suggests that sensors may be useful for monitoring thermal gradients and controlling patient care, even in a noisy environment,” he said.
The DTS has proven useful in a variety in medical imaging applications.
The researchers say it has great performance for a variety the sensors.
This has really opened up the possibility of using infrared as a diagnostic device in imaging,” Gopalakrishna said.”
In addition, it has a range of temperatures that is very close to the infrared range,” Govalakrishnas said.
“This has really opened up the possibility of using infrared as a diagnostic device in imaging,” Gopalakrishna said.
One thing the researchers do not understand, however, is why infrared heat does not get much use in medical applications.
“I would guess that infrared sensors would be a better choice in the clinical setting, as there is no reason for them to be exposed to UV radiation, so the use is not as sensitive,” he added.
“However, this study is the first to show that infrared is a useful temperature sensor for the general population, as it can detect thermal gradations and control patient care,” said Dr. Michael L. Miller, a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University at Albany.
“For example, if the patient has a cold, the sensor could be used to monitor temperature and also monitor respiration.
It can also measure blood pressure and respiratory rate.”
Miller and Gopalagran said they hope that the results from the study will lead to new sensor designs and applications.
“Our data show that our sensor can detect infrared and UV at very low temperatures and in the dark,” Gromakrishn said.
Gopalakhyan said the team is planning to continue to develop more sensors and to test their efficacy.
“We are looking at more sensor designs, including a variety with infrared,” Grorakhaman said.