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United States Patent m
Pompei et al.
US005653239A [li] Patent Number:  Date of Patent:
 CONTINUOUS TEMPERATURE MONITOR
 Inventors: Francesco Pompei; Janus TernuHo, both of Boston; William W. Malecki,
Newton Comer, all of Mass.
 Assignee: Exergen Corporation, Watertown,
 Appl. No.: 524,853
 Filed: Sep. 7,1995
Related U.S. Application Data
 Drvision of Ser. No. 281,766, Jul. 28, 1994, Pat. No. 5,469,855, which is a continuation of Ser. No. 60,486, May 11, 1993, abandoned, which is a continuation of Ser. No. 666,744, Mar. 8, 1991, abandoned.
 Int CI.6 A61B 5/00
 U.S. CI 128/664; 128/736; 374/121
 Field of Search 128/736, 664;
606/109; 381/68, 68.6, 68.7; 181/130, 135, 137, 129; 374/128, 121, 129, 132, 133,
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
4,878,560 11/1989 Scott.
4,881,616 11/1989 Janssen et al. .
4,895,164 1/1990 Wood .
4,940,896 7/1990 Hagins et al 250/338.3
4,993,419 2/1991 Pompei.
5,017,019 5/1991 Pompei.
5,046,580 9/1991 Barton.
5,088,834 2/1992 Howeetal. .
5,325,863 7/1994 Pompei.
Primary Examiner—Guy V. Tucker
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Hamilton, Brook, Smith &
Temperature of a subject is continuously monitored using a remote sensor assembly mounted in a subject's ear canal. The remote assembly connects to a display housing which contains the temperature display and supports electronics for responding to the sensed radiation. In one configuration, the major components of the remote assembly include a radiation detector, a plug structure and a flexible extension. The radiation detector has a thermopile and a first temperature sensor in close thermal contact with a thermopile junction. The flexible extension connects the radiation detector with the plug structure. Because the flexible extension bends to the contours of an ear canal, the remote sensor assembly extends well into a subject's ear canal without discomfort The plug structure is molded to fit securely in the concha region of an ear canal and includes a second temperature sensor which senses the temperature therein. Continuous temperature measurements are determined by combining the sensed temperature for the thermopile and the first and second temperature sensors and converting this combined signal to a temperature indication. In another configuration, the remote sensor assembly has a radiation detector and an ear-piece shaped to fit behind the subject's ear. The ear-piece replaces the plug structure for this configuration and provides the same functions. The flexible extension connects the radiation detector and the ear-piece. A hollow adapter shaped to fit in the concha region of an ear is positioned over a portion of the extension. The position of the adapter on the extension may be varied such that the depth of penetration of the radiation detector into the ear canal is adjustable.
15 Claims, 15 Drawing Sheets