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Tympanic thermometer performance validation by use of a body temperature fixed point blackbody.

Machin, G; Simpson, R (2003) Tympanic thermometer performance validation by use of a body temperature fixed point blackbody. Proc. SPIE - Int. Soc. Opt. Eng., 5073. pp. 51-7.

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Abstract

The use of infrared tympanic thermometers (ITT's) within the medical community is replacing more traditional forms of thermometry such as mercury-in-glass. Besides obvious health concerns over the use of mercury the increase in the use of tympanic thermometers is related to their speed and relatively non-invasive method of operation. The calibration and testing of such devices is described in a number of international standards (ASTM, CEN, JIS). However the blackbody sources described in these standards are impractical for validation purposes in the environment within which ITT's are used, i.e. wards/clinics/general practices. Moreover several studies have thrown doubt on the accuracy of tympanic thermometers in clinic use. With these factors in mind the NPL is developing a practical and robust primary reference fixed point source for tympanic thermometers, enabling the detection of mal-functioning thermometers and giving confidence in the measurement to the clinician and patient at point of use. The reference fixed point operates near body-temperature (36.3 ºC/97.3 ºF) with a repeatability of ±60 mK over several hours. The paper gives a description of the fixed point, its design and construction as well as the results of validation tests to date.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: ear, radiation
Subjects: Engineering Measurements
Engineering Measurements > Thermal
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 13:16
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/2777

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