Beeps that tell you have fever
Gadget: Dr Trust Electronic thermometer
- Tech specs: Battery operated thermometer with LCD display; flexible tip; beeps when ready
- Price: Rs 300
- Best for: Checking body temperature quickly
Gone are the days of the good old mercury thermometer that my parents would tuck beneath my tongue whenever I came back home from school, feeling feverish. It took ages to confirm whether I was really running a temperature high enough to be able to bunk school the following day. Sometimes those cylindrical glass tubes, with a tiny bulb at the end, refused to register body heat. The delicate tubes would break easily, in case my parents or I became a bit fidgety. And it was not possible to read the temperature unless you held it at a certain angle, especially during power cuts.
These days you need thermometers that are fast and easy to read so that you can quickly figure out whether you should start worrying about the dreaded viral infection going around. In times of the coronavirus, the process of getting to know whether you really have a fever matters a lot. I am not talking about the infra-red and no-touch “thermal guns” that we see people at the gates of offices, hotels, shopping malls and even beauty parlours wielding to restrict the entry of people who are feverish. This is about thermometers used in homes and healthcare set-ups.
Unlike those analog or mercury-in-glass thermometers — invented by Dutch physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit in Amsterdam in 1714 — the digital ones are flatter with clear, LCD displays that deliver easy-to-read measurements.
When I visited the local pharmacy, I found a huge rush for thermometers . Out of the few available devices, I chose Dr Trust as I was familiar with the brand that is supposedly a popular medical equipment brand in the US. (Last fortnight I reviewed their blood pressure monitor).
The thermometer comes with a flexible tip and, I was told, it is break-resistant. The on/off button is next to the LCD display and a tone sounded as the screen showed a dummy temperature count — the self-test status. I understood the instrument was ready for testing. I placed the thermometer under the tongue and pressed the “on” button. The first difference I felt was that the tip bent a little and sat tight beneath my tongue. An alarm beeped approximately 10 seconds later, announcing my body temperature was 98.5°Fahrenheit. The alarm would have beeped more rapidly if the temperature had reached 100°F.
The best thing about the device is that the reading was large enough — I didn’t need to put on the glasses to read. Neither
do you have to hold it at a particular angle to be able to sense the rise of mercury. In other words, the large display was easy to read and interpret — I could actually see the numbers.
My idea to shift allegiance to the digital mode from the analog or mercury thermometer seemed prudent. I was told that the smarter ones — and, of course, pricier too — can be synced with your smartphone so that you can maintain a temperature chart easily. Keep an eye on this space to know about those smarter devices.
Others in the market
Rossmax TG_380 Flexible Thermometer: This one is fast and precise. It takes about 60 seconds to read the temperature.The Rossmax digital thermometer automatically shuts off if left unattended. It has a low-battery indicator and fever alarm. It also identifies the faults in its system.
Price: Rs 370
Omron MC-343F Digital Thermometer: This one also records temperature quickly (10 seconds) and automatically shuts off. It’s a bit pricier due to its brand value. While it may not be very different from other devices in the market but the demand for it is the highest.
Price: Rs 405