External temperature measurement has advanced in technology with the addition of sensor technologies, increasing patient comfort, improving accuracy, and creating better tools for monitoring. Its data can be crucial to patients suffering from various conditions, from infections to hypothermia. The temperature measurement of the surface of the body can be accomplished using different sensor technologies. TE Connectivity (TE) manufactures NTC (negative thermal coefficient) thermistors, thermopiles, and digital temperature sensors to support the wide range of accuracy, packaging, and performance conditions amongst the different applications.
NTC (negative thermal coefficient) thermistors are a common type of temperature sensor to measure surface temperature. The sensor is a two wire connection and uses the resistance properties of ceramic/metal composites to measure temperature. For medical applications, packages are available with right angle or straight ¼” connectors to simplify installation. Common applications for this type of temperature sensor include adult rectal, pediatric rectal, and skin probes. Certain designs are capable of withstanding 134°C autoclavable cycles.
Disposable designs are also manufactured for general purpose use, esophageal stethoscopes, Foley catheters, and skin surface temperature measurement.
Infrared (IR) temperature sensors enable accurate non-contact temperature measurement in medical applications. The most common applications for this type of temperature sensor is measuring ear temperature, forehead temperature, or skin temperature. The sensing element is composed of multiple thermocouples on a silicon chip to measure an object's infrared energy. TE packages and customizes thermopiles in various package sizes and with different wire lengths to accommodate customer needs.
While not traditionally used for surface temperature measurement, digital temperature sensors are embedded into home healthcare and personal tracking devices. These sensors provide accurate measurements of temperature with a digital output signal and small circuit board package. For example, digital temperature sensors can be designed into medical devices to monitor the temperature of air in respiratory devices to create greater comfort for patients as air enters the airway.
TE Connectivity (TE) has a complete line of temperature sensors with proven experience in the medical industry, creating high precision sensors with excellent long-term stability. Our engineering resources are set up to support your sensor needs through the development process while our manufacturing sites hold certifications including: ISO9001, ISO13485, and FDA-approved Manufacturing. We have turnkey programs for complete sub-assembly manufacturing for certain applications.