Accurate measurement of core body temperature during surgery as well as in critical care is imperative to a positive outcome and ongoing quality of life for patients. Core temperature management of patients during extended anesthesia such as cardio-pulmonary bypass (CPB) surgery is equally important, yet there is no accurate core body measurement device available to physicians, surgeons and staffs today. With success in kidney and bladder temperature detection and monitoring, Thermimage is now developing the AccuTemp" Sensor, a non-invasive microwave based system to accurately and rapidly measure the core brain temperature at 4-5 cm. This system consists of a 2.5 cm receiving microwave antenna that will be placed on the patient's forehead, and a specialized radiometer to amplify and process the antenna signal to determine the actual brain temperature. The device will detect the energy emitted from the brain at near cellular phone frequencies (800-2500MHz), with a sensitive receiver that can detect microwave signals that are only a billionth of a watt strong. Core temperature monitoring devices used today infer temperature, but lack accuracy and the ability to rapidly report core temperature changes. Solid organ temperature from the heart, liver, spleen, kidneys and brain are best when monitoring core temperature and among these, the best and most critical measurement for treatment decisions is the brain. There are numerous surrogates of core temperature including oral, rectal, bladder, esophageal, tympanic and nasopharyngeal measures. These measures may be approximately correct when body temperature is stable. However, all are inadequate to detect and report the temperature of the brain when it is stable, or rapidly changing, either of which may require an immediate response from the surgical team. The most accurate predictions of brain temperature today uses intravascular sensors in the pulmonary artery or jugular vein, but these are inconvenient and potentially harmful. Even sensors directly in the brain have shown that when hypothermia is induced and reversed rapidly, standard monitoring sites fail to reflect cerebral temperature. Accurate body temperature monitoring is being emphasized in new physician practice guidelines with some ties to performance including a 2% reimbursement penalty to anesthesiologists not meeting the standard after 2014. It is imperative that anesthesiologists, intensive care physicians, neonatologists, and emergency physicians monitor the core body temperature for best patient outcomes. Clearly there is a need for new measuring body core temperature that provides fast and accurate readings of the body's most sensitive tissue, the brain. Thermimage's development of the novel AccuTemp Sensor will safely and reliably monitor deep brain temperature non-invasively, assisting greatly in creating best outcomes for patients, physicians and institutions.

Public Health Relevance

The need for physicians to know patient core body temperature during surgery has never been greater with accurate core temperature monitoring being emphasized in new physician practice guidelines as a method to lower morbidity, reduce infection, and shorten surgical recovery. Thermimage is developing the AccuTemp Sensor to provide non-invasive core temperature measured 4-5 cm deep within brain tissue enabling accurate, non-invasive monitoring during surgery with no inherent risk. The device will have immediate positive impacts for hypothermic anesthesia, near drowning and to exposure patients with additional opportunities to quickly follow.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-Q (11))
Program Officer
Somers, Scott D
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Thermimage, Inc.
Salt Lake City
United States
Zip Code
Stauffer, Paul R; Snow, Brent W; Rodrigues, Dario B et al. (2014) Non-invasive measurement of brain temperature with microwave radiometry: demonstration in a head phantom and clinical case. Neuroradiol J 27:3-12