TempTraq Wearable Thermometer Patch an interesting device for consistant temperature monitoring.
As a parent of 3 children, 7 year old, 4 year old and 11 month old, I can tell you that nobody prepares you for what to expect. Contrary to public thought, there is no manual and each child is different. People will try to give you advice, even when you do not want it. “Your kid is not sleeping the night, well my child slept the night since it left the womb.” “Mine knew its name and alphabet well before now.” We are constantly comparing our children, and it is hard, just plane hard to be a parent. When they get sick, parenting becomes seemingly impossible.
With the bad advice, you may get a gem or two. The best advice I have been given to date is, never awaken a sleeping child. I have done well to try to stick by this advice. However, sick children are a reality in my family. They tend to sleep poorly, require medication doses through the night, may get too hot or cold. This makes for many long nights. At CES 2016 Showstoppers I was introduced to a company called TempTraq. This company makes a digital thermometer patch that is designed to help parents with sick children.
I had the pleasure of talking with Jennifer Bahun, with Blue Spark Technologies, the distributor of TempTraq. This is the first and only 24-hour intelligent thermometer. Other market devices may allow for 24 hour temperature evaluation, but they are not linked to real time support/smart app. She noted in our interview that you can let your child sleep, monitor their temperature for up to 24 hours, receive alerts with elevated temperature readings, and monitor your whole family. Simply apply this soft flexible patch to your child and leave it on for the duration of their fever over the next 24 hours. It is not washable, it is a single use patch that can monitor temperature data in real time. New this year is TempTraq Connect. This will allow you to remotely monitor your child temperature from anywhere in the world, in real time. This technology led to 2 CES Innovation awards, in the categories of wearables and biotech fitness and sports.
Normal human body temperature fluctuates. Although the average human temperature of 98.6 degrees is the accepted normal body temperature, this does not mean that you will be 98.6 degrees. Our temperature is in regular flux, changing based on time of day, age, health, degree of clothing, outside temperature and measurement site, to name a few variables. It is thus important to check a baseline temperature, during times of health, to get an idea of normal for your family members. There are some inherent differences in the locations available to check temperature. Ear (otic) and rectal temperatures tend to run, on average, 0.5-1F higher than oral readings. Armpit (axillary in Doctor speak) and forehead (temporal) readings tend to be 0.5-1F lower than oral temperatures per WebMD. I typically recommend that my patients do not add or subtract anything from the value, simply tell your health care provider the value and source of the temperature. This makes for much less confusion. Just because you are sick, does not mean you will run a fever. It is important to remember that this is just a measurement tool. It is not meant to treat your child, it is not meant to act in place of common sense and or medical advice. If concerned about the health of you or one of your family members contact a medical professional.
The cardboard packaging is very well done and professional. The front flap of the flip style box demonstrates a sleeping child with a TempTraq. The device is nestled under the left arm of the child, collecting axillary temperature while the parent is using the app to monitor real time data. The front of the packaging details the single use nature of the patch and Bluetooth connectivity as well. Flipping the cardboard open, you see details of the application, discussion of the monitoring modes for normal, fever and alerts. There is a note feature, which allows you to document/comment about points of the illness (fluids, medications, sick events such as diarrhea/vomit or normal data like diaper change or used restroom). This feature is really nice for parents. This type of a tool allows my wife and I to see this data in one place, instead of trying to keep a spiral notebook or post it notes for medication times and data points. This can be updated and checked by both parties, the app is free.
The best part of the patch is you do not need to wake a child for temperature checks. As a father and Family Medicine Doctor, I only want medications to be given when needed. If the fever is staying under control, without medication, and the child is sleeping comfortably, why would you want to awaken them to check temperature? This will give parents peace of mind, especially newer parents with younger children. You can monitor the temperature remotely without any disturbance of the child. This will continually monitor for 24 hours. If longer periods of time are needed, you can pull a patch off and put on a new one. The material is soft and flexible and really is a novel device. It is easy to apply and remove, which is a large benefit. Simply place the triangle into the middle of the armpit and press the on button and link to your phone/device.
The instructions are well written and well diagrammed. Step 1 download the app. Step 2 open the packaging. Please note that each patch has a patch ID and an expiration date on the packaging and on the box itself. Do not use if the expiration date has passed. Remove the backing from the patch. Apply the patch directly under the arm with the sensor “Underarm arrow” in the center of the arm pit. This can be placed on either side of the body, make sure TempTraq is upright. This is the most likely point of error for this device. If not placed correctly, it is likely that the temperatures will read low (cooler than normal).
Once applied, open the app your smart phone. You are given 2 options at the bottom of the screen, you can select watch video or continue. The video is actually quite informative, I recommend viewing the video. Select add new patch and begin monitoring. The instructions state that to have accurate temperatures (meets accuracy standards for digital thermometers) the arm needs to be relaxed by their side and needs about 3 minutes to reach steady temperature.
Select “Add a new patch,” then add child’s name and the alert temperature of your choice. The lower the set point, the more it will alert you and the higher the set point, the less it will alert you. Select the patch number that corresponds with your child and then save this data. You are then taken to a patch list screen. Here you can see the active and completed patches that are available. You will see the current temperature of each child, their alert temperature and remaining time for each patch. When completed patch data is no longer needed, you can delete this information.
The dashboard is the main hub for each of the patches. It shows current temp, alert temp, time remaining (just like patch list). You are given a graph at the bottom, displaying temperature over time. The background in the circle will display green if normal temp, orange if febrile (fever) and red if the alert has been reached or exceeded. Once received, you can either choose to “dismiss” or “snooze” (30 min) this message. If the temperature drops during the snooze time, no further alert will be given. Otherwise it will resend you an alert. If out of range for >15 minutes it will notify you “TempTraq No recent signal from patch “CHILDNAME.”
Again, my favorite feature is the ‘Add Notes’ section. Notice the gray circles above the graph in the picture above. Touch one of them inside the app and it takes you to the notes page. Here, you can add a note, choose between a few presets: medication, bath, feeding, custom. This note is demonstrated on the main page as a note icon. You can tap this to see the note and then can edit it if you choose. There are 2 ways to view the data, graph and list (History). The colors of the temperature correspond to normal, elevated and alert. When the time runs out the patch will no longer send data. History will be sent for another 24 hours. When “done” is displayed, remove the patch and place it into the trash.
The instructions provide a wonderful FAQ section. Initially the temperature was reading too low, in the 90’s. My son was walking around without a t-shirt and his arms were up and down. This will lead to lower temperatures due to air flow. It would be similar if you drink cold liquid and then check an oral temperature. If this is not applied correctly, gently remove and reapply with the corner in the middle of the armpit.
The device is comfortable and really does provide peace of mind to you as another “set of eyes” upon your family. Real time biometric data is important and can help you, as a parent, to remember when meds were given, when they had an event (accident, bathroom use, feed, etc). I can see why this device has received 2 innovation awards through CES. It is a really neat system that truly helps parents. I would rate this at 4/5 stars for ingenuity, scope of use and for the technology. I do not like the single use, 24 hour time period for the list price. My opinion is, if this is a 24 hour device, it needs to be at a price point that reflects a one time device. Granted, there is convenience in allowing your child to sleep. Unfortunately, for the price of 2 digital oral/rectal thermometers I get one TempTraq.
There are a few ideal scenarios for TempTraq. First, imagine that you have a sick child and they have already had a bad night, you were up all night, medication doses through the night, etc. Now, apply this patch (when you know they are sick), monitor for when the temp begins to rise. This would allow you to better time medication doses (follow package inserts for medication and or discuss with your health care provider), to strategically awaken the child and re-dose medications to catch it before it is out of control. Another place this would be helpful would be hospitals who have to check temperatures regularly. One patch a day saves from recurrent vitals collecting. This may work in older children and adults better, as rectal temperatures are often more accurate with younger children. Overall, this is a really interesting device.
BUY FROM AMAZON