Self-powered Swallowable Thermometer Measures Internal Body Temperature

Having just written about a thermometer board for home automation,  I’ll stay on the temperature measurement topic, as I’ve found another thermometer that targets the medical field instead. Body temperature measurement at my local hospital is done under the armpit, which does the job in most cases, but more accurate temperature measurement of “deep body temperature” is normally achieved through rectal temperature measurement which is not as practical and comfortable for most people.

Daily measurements of deep body temperature can apparently allow physicians to better understand “biological clocks”. In practical terms, it means doctors would be able to know ovulation cycles, measure the fatigue degrees of athletes, and even prevent heat strokes and hypothermia. Seeing the impractically in the conventional method, Nakamura Lab at Tohoku University developed a “swallowable thermometer” for this purpose.

Swallowable Thermometer

The swallowable sensor measures just 9.16mm in diameter, is allegedly perfectly safe to the human body, and is powered in the stomach using the same principle as the “Lemon battery” which utilizes magnesium (Mg) and platinum (Pt) electrodes to generate electricity in the acid environment of your stomach.  The generated electricity is then stored in the capacitor of the thermometer allowing it to work for about 10 hours.

Temperature measurements are made every 30 to 60 minutes and wirelessly transmitted over a 10 MHz wireless connection. This means four main components are part of the swallowable thermometer: the temperature sensor, a wireless communication chip, a customized chip manufactured with 0.6μm-process withered CMOS technology, and a capacitor. Costs are expected to be under ¥100 (~US$0.9) in quantity.

Via Nikkei XTech

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