Temperature measurement is a fundamental aspect of healthcare, industrial processes, scientific research, and everyday life. Over the years, significant advancements have revolutionized the way we measure temperature, with digital thermometers emerging as a popular choice. Traditionally, temperature measurement relied on analog devices such as mercury-in-glass thermometers. These thermometers operated on the principle of thermal expansion, where the volume of mercury expanded or contracted with temperature changes, indicating the temperature on a scale. While effective, these thermometers had certain limitations, including the potential health risks associated with mercury and the subjective interpretation of readings.
The introduction of digital thermometers marked a significant breakthrough in temperature measurement. These devices employ electronic sensors, often utilizing thermistors or infrared technology, to capture temperature data and display it numerically on a digital screen. Digital thermometers offer several advantages that have contributed to their widespread popularity.
Digital thermometers provide accurate and precise temperature readings, often with high-resolution displays that allow for easy interpretation. This level of accuracy is particularly important in healthcare settings, where even slight variations in body temperature can be medically significant.
These devices offer rapid temperature measurement, typically providing results within seconds. This attribute is particularly beneficial when dealing with patients who may be uncomfortable or uncooperative, as it minimizes the time required for temperature assessment. Unlike traditional mercury-based thermometers, digital thermometers eliminate the risk of mercury exposure. They are also easier to clean and disinfect, reducing the potential for cross-contamination between users. These factors contribute to their widespread adoption in healthcare facilities and public settings.
Also, digital thermometers often offer additional features, such as memory storage for tracking temperature trends, fever alarms, and the ability to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius scales. These features enhance their versatility and usefulness in various applications. Besides, digital thermometers have embraced technological advancements, leading to the development of smart thermometers that can connect to smartphones or other devices via Bluetooth or wireless connections. These connected thermometers allow for remote monitoring, data storage, and analysis, providing valuable insights for healthcare professionals and individuals managing their health.
A digital thermometer measures the temperature using built-in sensors, and displays the result in the form of ready-made numbers on the display. They are completely safe, unlike their mercury predecessors. Digital thermometers allow you to measure the temperature axillary (under the armpit), orally, and rectally.
The method of measuring temperature is different all over the world. For example, in Europe, the rectal method is popular, in the USA the oral method, and in the post-Soviet area the axillary method.
It should be understood that the normal measured values in different parts of the body are different, therefore if the thermometer under the armpit shows 36.6, then in the mouth it can show 37.1 and this is within the normal range.
How to measure the temperature correctly?
Oral measurement is recommended. Do not consume hot or cold drinks before measuring. It is necessary to turn on the device, place it under the tongue closer to the root. Keep your mouth closed during measurement. If you are used to axillary (armpit) measurement, it is important to create good contact between the device and the body. The hand must be kept tightly pressed to the body. And for rectal measurement, you need to use hygienic lubricants and insert the device into the rectum by 1 cm. With any method of measurement, you must not stop the procedure after the sound signal. You need to hold the device for another 30-60 seconds.
Infrared thermometers "read" infrared radiation from the body of a person or object. They are of two types: contact and non-contact. Contact measure temperature when touched to the forehead or temple, or in the auricle. There are two-in-one models that can measure both the forehead and the auricle. Non-contact thermometers measure a temperature at a distance of several centimeters from the human body.