Body temperature tracking

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Measuring body temperature can be useful to do ovulatory cycle tracking, seeing signs of fevers but can also be used as a general measurement of recovery. An increasing number of wearables include temperature sensors to measure the skin temperature[1] as a proxy for core body temperature.

Types of measurements[edit | edit source]

Body temperature can be measured in different ways, from different parts of the body.

The core body temperature describes the temperature in the deeper structures of the body, such as the liver. The academic gold standard to measure the core body temperature is taking temperature from the heart through a catheter. Given that this procedure is highly invasive, the generally accepted alternative measurement is through rectal measurements or oral measurements. The rule of thumb is that measured rectal temperatures are around 0.55 ºC (1 Fahrenheit) higher than oral measurements [2]. Thermometers that take temperature readings from the ear are considered to be not accurate, with up to 4 out of 10 readings missing fever [3].

There a variety of wearables and techniques now that take temperature readings from the skin (e.g. on he wrist or finger). These measures can not easily replace an actual core body temperature reading, as skin temperatures can vary largely (e.g. due to outside temperatures) without any impact on the core body temperature [4]. Furthermore, the skin temperature itself can vary between body sites [5].

Devices that measure temperature[edit | edit source]

A variety of devices exist to take body temperature, including regular thermometers, smart thermometers that connect to mobile apps to wearable devices. A list of devices that people in the personal science community have used include:

Projects that included temperature tracking[edit | edit source]

Recordings of body temperature have been used in a number of projects:

References[edit | edit source]