Medisana readies ThermoDock iPhone infrared thermometer

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 3, 2012        

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Medisana thermodock iPhoneAbout a year ago we noticed a YouTube video demo of a DIY project: An infrared thermometer iPhone peripheral. While it appears to be a separate effort altogether, Germany-based Medisana is making some noise this week about the planned launch of ThermoDock. The device is available for pre-order in the UK for about US $96.

Here’s the pitch over at online shopping site Firebox: “Forget old-fashioned thermometers. Thanks to the ingenious Medisana ThermoDock you can use your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to measure your temperature. And before you ask, no, you won’t have to stick gizmos in your ear, your gob or anywhere else for that matter. This clever little peripheral utilizes non-contact infrared technology to measure body temperature, room temperature, surface temperature and even water temperature. Simply plug it into your gizmo’s charging point and prepare to be blown away as it works in conjunction with the free VitaDock app to deliver accurate, idiot-proof readings that can be stored, collated and exchanged via email.”

While there are other temperature devices available, including the iGrill, a meat thermometer iPhone peripheral that lets users check the temperature of grilled meat, is perhaps the most prominent example. Another: The iCelsius peripheral device for measuring ambient temperature.

A more sophisticated device, which (like ThermoDock) is not yet FDA-approved or commercially available, is the one under development by CellScope. This iPhone peripheral will be used for at-home disease diagnosis using smartphone cameras. The current focus is on pediatric ear and skin infections, which cause over 30 million doctor visits annually in the US. The company expects future products to leverage the technology platform for consumer skin care and interactive microscopy, but adding a temperature component seems like an obvious move, too.

Earlier this year the FDA granted 510(k) clearance to DuoFertility for its temperature sensing wearable sensor, which it is marketing to couples having trouble conceiving. The device is a peel-n-stick sensor that adheres under the woman’s arm to monitor temperature and other indicators to provide 24-hour monitoring for more than six months. The device takes temperature readings up to 20,000 times per day and pits itself up against the much more expensive and invasive IVF. No smartphone required, however: As of yet, the company has made no mention of a smartphone companion app since it has created its own dedicated, handheld device.

For more on ThermoDock, check out this iMedicalApps report.