TE Connectivity (TE) manufactures NTC (negative thermal coefficient) thermistors, thermopiles, and digital temperature sensors to support the demand for accuracy, packaging, and performance conditions required for a variety of applications. External temperature measurement has advanced in technology with the addition of sensor technologies, increasing patient comfort, improving accuracy, and creating better tools for monitoring. From infections to hypothermia, data received from these products can be used to treat patients suffering from various conditions. The body’s temperature can be measured using different sensor technologies.

NTC Thermistor Sensors:
NTC (negative thermal coefficient) thermistors are a common type of temperature sensor to measure surface temperature. The sensor is comprised of a two wire connection and uses the resistance properties of ceramic/metal composites to measure temperature. For medical applications, packages are available with right angle or straight 1/4” connectors to simplify installation. Common applications for this type of temperature sensor include adult rectal, pediatric rectal and skin probes. Certain designs are capable of withstanding 134°C autoclavable cycles.

TE thermometer

Disposable designs are also manufactured for general purpose use, esophageal stethoscopes, Foley catheters, and skin surface temperature measurement.

Infrared Temperature Sensors – Thermopiles:
Infrared (IR) temperature sensors enable accurate non-contact temperature measurement in medical applications. The most common applications for this type of temperature sensor is measuring ear temperature, forehead temperature, or skin temperature. The sensing element is composed of multiple thermocouples on a silicon chip to measure an object's infrared energy. TE packages and customizes thermopiles in various package sizes and with different wire lengths to accommodate customer needs.

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Digital Temperature Sensors:
While not traditionally used for surface temperature measurement, digital temperature sensors are embedded into home healthcare and personal tracking devices. These sensors provide accurate measurements of temperature with a digital output signal and small circuit board package. For example, digital temperature sensors can be designed into medical devices to monitor the temperature of air in respiratory devices to create greater comfort for patients as air enters the airway.