Meet the FeverPhone

Original Article:

Your mobile device can now take your temperature! Smartphones have the ability to measure their internal temperature with special temperature sensors. Researchers have modified this feature which allows you to measure your own temperature if you are worried about a fever. 

How does it work?

A smartphone contains components that already monitor its own temperature. Recently, University of Washington researchers have taken advantage of this technology to adapt a phone to be able to measure human body core temperature. By placing the smartphone against your forehead, and putting the touchscreen against your skin, the thermal resistors detect the rate of heat transfer between the body and the phone.  

How does it compare to other thermometers?

Normal commercial thermometers can have errors of ±1.46 °C. That can be the difference between normal body temperature and a fever! The “FeverPhone” only has an error of 0.229 °C, a fraction of other thermometers on the market and without having to buy an additional device!

Limitations and Uses

The “FeverPhone” has so far only been tested when the ambient air temperature is between 18.3 and 23.6 °C (65 – 75.5 degrees Fahrenheit) . Additional phone models, beyond the Google Pixel 6, need to be tested. However, this adaptation of a new technology now allows individuals to check if they have a fever and hopefully this will alert them to take appropriate action and at the same time reduce the risk of passing an infection (like Covid or the flu), onto someone else.