Assessment of an infra-red non-contact sensor for routine skin temperature monitoring: A preliminary study

C. Hershler, T. A. Conine, A. Nunn, M. Hannay

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The accuracy and reproducibility of a new non-contact sensor for monitoring skin temperature was examined. Thirty measurements taken by the device were compared with those taken by a commonly used thermocouple contact sensor. The result was a very high correlation coefficient (r = 0.9999). This accuracy was achieved with the probe held at an angle of 90° 1 cm from the skin. Changes in angle and distance were found to contribute to measurement error. Little difference was found between 39 pairs of measurements taken of the left and right sides of subjects. However, intra-subject variability was noted with respect to the dermotomal segmental fields. Inter-tester reliability analysis resulted in a correlation of r = 0.937 involving two independent testers and 26 pairs of measurements. These preliminary data will be used for power calculations to study further the device which we found to be simple to operate, portable, and practical for routine clinical use. This sensor may have applications in the diagnosis of nerve and vascular disorders and in prospective monitoring of skin conditions such as bony areas at risk of pressure ulcers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-122
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Engineering and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

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