I became interested in medical technology after purchasing the world’s first “tympanic thermometer” for my practice back in 1986. This was the “FirstTemp” thermometer manufactured by Intelligent Medical Systems. It took the temperature of the ear canal and tympanic membrane, added a “fudge factor” to the recorded reading to display either an oral or rectal equivalent reading. It eventually became a staple of medical practice. Fourteen years later, in 2000, Exergen Corporation replaced the ear thermometer with a thermometer that takes a temperature from the superficial branch of the Temporal artery. It has become the most used thermometer in clinical practice today, at least among pediatricians. Over 400,000 of these have been sold to medical providers world wide. It takes accurate readings, is reasonably priced and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Exergen has a great website and includes an animated training tutorial that details the nuances of temporal artery temperatures, and describes how measurements should be obtained. It also discusses when temporal artery temperatures measurements should not be relied upon (ie situations of sweating or when a patient’s ambient environment changes rapidly – coming indoors from a frigid environment).
For more on clinical thermometry, including a brief history lesson and a discussion of thermometers for home use, take a look atmy March, 2016 Pediatrics v2.0 article that was published in Contemporary Pediatrics. http://contemporarypediatrics.modernmedicine.com/contemporary-pediatrics/news/clinical-thermometry-update-and-review