New Compact Sensor Measures Brain Temp Non-invasively

May 9 2011, 4:04pm CDT | by , in News | Technology News

New Compact Sensor Measures Brain Temp Non-invasively
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Cool medical tech helps babies

Having been in and around hospitals for much of my adult life, I have seen firsthand how the brain is typically monitored for pressure and other things. The monitoring requires a drill and a small hole in the patient's head where a sensor can be passed through to monitor the brain directly typically. Obviously, there are many potential side effects with this sort of thing. A new device has been invented that will reduce the need to drill into the head of people that need to be monitored.

The new sensor is about the size of a poker chip and it can be used to measure the temperature in the brain without having to cut or drill. A temperature too high can cause brain damage. The new sensor sits on top of the patients head and measures microwaves passed through the brain to get the temperature of the brain. The more intense the microwaves, the higher the temperature is.

The device is undergoing clinical trials right now and is being used on infants that are undergoing cooling therapy in the hospital. The sensor was able to measure temperatures 15mm inside the skull of the child and then found that the brain was warmer than the rest of the infant's body. The hope is that the device will make cooling therapy more effective.

My Take: Sensors and breakthroughs like this are the things that seem small can have a profound impact on the medical world and the health of patients young and old.

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