TempTraq is a wireless temperature monitor for consumers, but it has the potential to be quite useful for healthcare applications and for prehospital/perihospital care.
TempTraq by Blue Tracks Technology is a single-use device for wireless temperature monitoring that is compliant with ASTM E1112-00 (standard for accuracy in digital thermometers). It uses a simple push-button activation on the temp probe that activates it and then it has a life-span of 24 hours after initial activation. You connect to the wireless temperature monitor via a smartphone app for Android or iOS and your device’s Bluetooth connection and can configure the app to display Fahrenheit or Celcius. The wireless temperature monitor connects with the app and your smartphone using a unique identifier. The app has the ability to allow the user to configure parameter alarms, for instance, in case a temperature spike is encountered. The app gives digital and graphical readouts of the monitoring results. No patient identifiable info is transmitted via the temp probe, so if an eavesdropper comes in to range with several of these devices in operation, there would be no way for them to know which device belongs to which wearer.
Although the technology is still confined to the consumer workplace, it could be of value to us in EMS even now. Temperature monitoring with a full capability monitor is not always feasible. Think of Foley temp probes, for example. Invasive and expensive. This would be useful in monitoring a febrile child with seizures or an infection and could be transferred to the receiving hospital upon transfer of care. If a patient were to be seen in an Urgent Care or ER, then they could be monitored periodically by staff to see if their fever has broken or spiked. Oncology units could use this to monitor patients receiving chemo infusions. Long-distance transfer patients could also be monitored for temperature spikes.
TempTraq wireless temperature monitoring was easy to get going. I downloaded the free app from the Google Play app store and got it running with Bluetooth active on my smartphone. I simply followed the directions on the packaging for the wireless monitor and applied the temp probe to my left axilla. I connected it by performing a search in the app for the unique “Patch ID”, which you can customize with a personalized name (perhaps a child’s or patient’s name). You can monitor several devices at a time, so let’s say you have a house (or waiting room) full of sick kids and you need to track all their temps, you shouldn’t have any problem as long as you are within a few yards of the person wearing the TempTraq, which should be easy to achieve in a waiting room or in a typical single-family home. It is removable and re-applicable for bathing and should not be applied over any open skin wounds.
It would be easy to see first responders and prehospital care providers use a system like this. Say a first response crew arrives on scene, they could add this device to the patient’s axilla in a clinically appropriate situation, and then activate it, documenting the findings. When the patient care/transporting crew arrives, they can assume monitoring and collect all the temperature recordings logged to that point, and continue monitoring throughout transport. When care is handed to the hospital staff, they can keep using the system and uploading the temp logs into the patient’s chart.
I wore the monitor for a full 24 hours. It was noticeable, but not uncomfortable. I can imagine a toddler absent-mindedly picking at it. The adhesive seems to be consistent with hypoallergenic tapes, making it usable for sensitive skin. The monitor collected readings of my temps throughout the night while I slept and when I reconnected the app and phone, it downloaded all the data from the time of my last connection. In short, it worked exactly as described. I did not attempt to induce any false temperature elevations during my trial of the TempTraq. The app allows custom alerts to be sent and allows the user to add notes, like when a medication is given to the wearer (for example, if Tylenol is given to the wearer with a fever).
What would I make different:
I think the product documentation could be slightly improved by explaining the normal ranges of temps for axillary temps versus oral or rectal temps. The company is already working with various health partners in the US to integrate readings into EMR systems, like Epic. I had to perform a hard reset of my Android device after using the TempTraq and as a result, I lost all the data from my product trial, so there is no cloud account to retain information. The simplicity of the app is a strong benefit to using it, giving a very small learning curve to the user, which helps eliminate confusion in usage. Otherwise, I don’t see any need to improve or modify the system.
I wish to thank the reps at TempTraq for giving me this opportunity to review the TempTraq wireless temperature monitoring system.