MedSENS consists of a probe about the size of an ear plug. (Credit: Eurac Research/Martina Jaider)

A new device, called MedSENS, measures various vital parameters from the ear canal. The instrument consists of a probe about the size of an ear plug, which contains innovative measuring sensors. It is pushed it into a victim’s ear, then covered with an outer ear pad that insulates against heat and cold.

The device incorporates a small screen that shows the measured values in real time. In addition to body temperature, it also measures heart rate and oxygen saturation and gives a complete picture of essential vital parameters. The data can then be sent wirelessly to any other connected device.

It is designed for emergency situations, such as when the victim is suspected to be hypothermic, knowing their core temperature as accurately as possible is essential for proper triage. During simulations of interventions between –10° and 20 °C, rescue workers had to apply the device. The “victims” were monitored both through the MedSENS device and a traditional esophageal probe, which had previously been inserted in the clinic.

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