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Publication numberUS20010021218 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/130,730
Publication dateSep 13, 2001
Filing dateAug 7, 1998
Priority dateAug 8, 1997
Also published asUS6336742
Publication number09130730, 130730, US 2001/0021218 A1, US 2001/021218 A1, US 20010021218 A1, US 20010021218A1, US 2001021218 A1, US 2001021218A1, US-A1-20010021218, US-A1-2001021218, US2001/0021218A1, US2001/021218A1, US20010021218 A1, US20010021218A1, US2001021218 A1, US2001021218A1
InventorsMasashi Fukura, Makoto Tabata
Original AssigneeMasashi Fukura, Makoto Tabata
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Clinical thermometer for receiving infrared radiation from a human eardrum
US 20010021218 A1
Abstract
This invention relates to an infrared clinical thermometer having a probe projecting forward from the main thermometer body. The probe is designed to be inserted into an car canal and detect infrared radiation from a human eardrum in order to measure body temperature. A measurement start switch is located on the upper portion of the rear side of the thermometer main body, substantially in line with the probe. When the measurement start switch is pressed, the probe does not rotate or tilt, allowing a accurate temperature measurement to be obtained. The thermometer also has a display which shows the measurement results after the operation of the measurement start switch. The display is located on the upper portion of the rear side of the main body, so that it can be clearly seen as the thermometer is held by the operator.
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Claims(2)
What is claimed is:
1. An infrared clinical thermometer comprising:
a probe projecting forward from a thermometer main body, and
a measuring start switch is provided on the rear side of the thermometer main body,
wherein said measuring start switch is substantially in line with said probe, so that the end of said probe does not rotate or tilt when the start switch is depressed.
2. An infrared clinical thermometer comprising:
a display which shows the results of measurement after the operation of a start switch, and
a measuring start switch,
wherein said display and said measuring start switch are located on the upper portion of the rear side of the main thermometer body.
Description
    FIELD OF THE INVENTION AND RELATED ART
  • [0001]
    The present invention relates to a clinical thermometer for receiving infrared radiation from a human body, especially from a human eardrum. A thermometer measures the temperature of a human body by inserting a probe into the ear canal.
  • [0002]
    A conventional thermometer is shown in FIG. 6. A probe 52 extends from the head 51 of the main body 50. When an operator holds the thermometer, the probe 52 is directed forward. In probe 52 are located an infrared sensor and a wave guide for guiding the infrared radiation to the sensor. A power switch 53 and a start switch 54 are located on the front face of the thermometer main body 50.
  • [0003]
    There are two types of the conventional thermometer described above, with different styles of operation. The first type is used by pushing the power switch, inserting the end of the probe into an ear canal, positioning the probe, and pressing the start switch to start the measurement. The second type can be used two ways. The first way is the same as described above. The second way is to push the power switch 53 and the start switch 54 and then insert the probe into the car canal to measure the temperature. With both the first and second types of thermometers, the measuring start switch is located on the front face below the probe. Accordingly, when the start switch is pressed, a downward rotating moment is caused at the probe opening. As a result, the position of the probe is altered in the ear canal, and the infrared sensor does not receive infrared radiation directly from the eardrum. There is a possibility that the measurement results will show a lower temperature than the actual body temperature.
  • SUMMARY OF INVENTION
  • [0004]
    The first object of the present invention is to solve the abovementioned problem of accurately measuring the temperature in the first type of conventional thermometer or the first mode of operation of the second type of thermometer. The second object of the invention is to locate the start switch so that it may be easily pushed and to locate the display so that it may be easily seen.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0005]
    [0005]FIG. 1 is a side view of a preferred embodiment of the infrared thermometer.
  • [0006]
    [0006]FIG. 2 is a rear view of the preferred embodiment of the thermometer.
  • [0007]
    [0007]FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view showing the essential parts of the thermometer.
  • [0008]
    [0008]FIG. 4 is a front view of the probe of the thermometer.
  • [0009]
    [0009]FIG. 5 is a side view of another embodiment of the thermometer probe.
  • [0010]
    [0010]FIG. 6 is a thermometer illustrating the prior art.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0011]
    The thermometer shown in FIG. 1 comprises a main body 1 and a probe 10. The main body 1 consists of a rear housing 2, a front housing 3, and a battery cover 4. The probe 10 projects forward from the main body 1. On the rear side of the main body I are a power switch 7, a measuring start switch 8, and a display 9 for displaying measurement results, for example body temperature (FIG. 2). The probe 10 has a flange portion 11 (FIG. 3). When the thermometer is not in use, a cap 5 is attached to the flange portion 11. The cap 5 protects the probe 10. When the thermometer is used, the cap 5 is removed and a probe cover 30 is attached to the probe 10. The probe cover 30 consists of a ring-shaped portion 31 and a transparent film 32 which is attached to the ring portion 31. When a probe cover 30 is attached to the probe 10, the ring portion 31 of the cover attaches to the flange portion 11 of the probe.
  • [0012]
    As shown in FIG. 3, an inner cylinder 20 is located inside the probe 10. An infrared sensor 21 is located on the base end of the inner cylinder 20. A wave guide 22 for guiding infrared radiation to the sensor 21 attaches to the sensor and extends along the cylinder 20. A circuit board 25 is located in the thermometer main body. The power switch 7, start switch 8, and display 9 are all positioned on the circuit board 25. The sensor 21 is connected to the circuit board 25 by lead wires.
  • [0013]
    The probe cover 30 consists of a ring portion 31 and a transparent film 32, and the ring portion 31 consists of a lower portiaon 31 a and an upper portion 31 b. By attaching the upper portion 31 b to the lower portion 3 la, the film 32 is sandwiched and fixed between the two portions. When the probe cover 30 is attached to the probe 10, the ring portion 31 contacts to the flange portion 11 of the probe.
  • [0014]
    In this thermometer, instruction text 40 is printed on the flange portion 11 of the probe 10, as shown in FIG. 4. The instruction text says “Please use probe cover”. As shown in FIG. 4, the text is printed on the surface of the flange 11 in two locations. When the probe cover 30 is attached to the probe 10, the text 40 is hidden by the ring portion 31 of the probe cover 30.
  • [0015]
    The start switch 8 in this thermometer is located on the upper portion of the rear side of the main body 1. The start switch 8 is approximately in line with the axis of the wave guide 22 of the probe 10. When the probe 10, with the probe cover 30 attached, is inserted into the car canal, the start switch is pushed to begin measurement. In this situation, the start switch 8 is depressed in the direction of the probe 10 approximately along its center axis. The end of the probe 10 does not rotate or tilt when the start switch is pushed, and the wave guide 22 remains stable to receive infrared radiation directly from the eardrum. Thus, the accuracy of the measurement is increased. Additionally, when the start switch 8 is pushed, the pushing force inserts the probe more deeply into the ear canal. The probe 10 contacts the ear tightly, so stability and accuracy are increased.
  • [0016]
    After the start switch is operated, the results of the measurement are displayed on the display 9. The start switch 8 and display 9 are located on the upper portion of the rear side of the main body 1. When the operator grips the main body to use the thermometer, the start switch 8 and display 9 are readily visible. When the end of the probe 10 is inserted into the ear canal, the measurement results can be seen easily on the display.
  • [0017]
    Another embodiment is shown in FIG. 5. In this embodiment, the instruction text 40 is printed on the side of the probe 10.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6435712 *Aug 25, 2000Aug 20, 2002Omron CorporationRadiant type thermometer
US6626568 *Jun 8, 2001Sep 30, 2003Omxon CorporationRadiation clinical thermometer and method of measuring body temperature using the radiation clinical thermometer
US6976783 *Oct 20, 2003Dec 20, 2005Actherm Inc.Assembly method and structure of an electronic clinical thermometer
US7507025Apr 7, 2006Mar 24, 2009Wayne R LumpkinInfrared thermometer with an axially actuated temperature sensor
US8374683Dec 30, 2009Feb 12, 2013Ray D. StoneMedical instrument with probe, probe cover, and methods of using the same
US20040105487 *Oct 20, 2003Jun 3, 2004Sanlian ChenAssembly method and structure of an electronic clinical thermometer
US20050083991 *Oct 17, 2003Apr 21, 2005Anthony WongProbe cover storage system for ear thermometer
US20050085733 *Oct 17, 2003Apr 21, 2005Anthony WongEar thermometer illumination system
US20070047620 *Apr 7, 2006Mar 1, 2007Lumpkin Wayne RInfrared thermometer with an axially actuated temperature sensor
US20110160595 *Dec 30, 2009Jun 30, 2011Welch Allyn, Inc.Medical instrument with probe, probe cover, and methods of using the same
WO2011090670A3 *Dec 22, 2010Nov 10, 2011Welch Allyn, Inc.Medical instrument with probe, probe cover, and methods of using the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification374/208, 600/549, 374/121, 374/E13.003
International ClassificationA61B5/01, G01K13/00, G01J5/04
Cooperative ClassificationG01J5/049, G01J5/04, G01J5/0818, G01J5/08, G01J5/025, G01J5/02
European ClassificationG01J5/08B5, G01J5/02E, G01J5/04T, G01J5/04, G01J5/08, G01J5/02
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 5, 1998ASAssignment
Owner name: OMRON CORPORATION, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:FUKURA, MASASHI;TABATA, MAKOTO;REEL/FRAME:009501/0710
Effective date: 19980920
Dec 16, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: OMRON HEALTHCARE CO., LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:OMRON CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:014763/0936
Effective date: 20031029
Jun 16, 2005FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Jul 20, 2009REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Jan 8, 2010LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Mar 2, 2010FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20100108