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Development of a Core Body Thermometer with Built-in Earphone for Continuous Monitoring in GT Car Racing Athletes

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  • イヤホン組込型深部体温連続計測装置の開発と安全支援を目指したGTドライバーへの応用
  • イヤホン クミコミガタ シンブ タイオン レンゾク ケイソク ソウチ ノ カイハツ ト アンゼン シエン オ メザシタ GT ドライバー エ ノ オウヨウ

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Abstract

Motor racing athletes in the closed-cockpit category are always facing life-threatening situations caused by heat stroke, especially in hot weather. We report here the development of a novel infrared-radiation-type eardrum thermometer, with a built-in earphone, which can be used for continuous measurement in GT car racing. We examined the accuracy of the system for core body temperature monitoring in 10 healthy volunteers (21.8 ± 1.0 (S.D.) yrs) using a temperature controlled water bath. In addition, we assessed the usefulness of the system under real racing conditions with 2 professional drivers in the practice session of 2010 SUPER GT International Series Round 4 MALAYSIA being held at the Sepang International Circuit. To examine accuracy two thermistor probes, one inserted into the ear canal and the other beneath the tongue, were used for measurements of eardrum and sublingual temperatures respectively. An infrared eardrum thermometer was inserted into the contra-lateral ear canal. The measured temperatures were recorded at 30-s intervals. The results showed good correlation between the infrared eardrum temperature and both the direct eardrumtem temperature (r = 0.994, n = 1119, p < 0.001) and the sublingual temperature (r = 0.972, n = 1119, p < 0.001). The mean difference between these temperatures was + 0.09 °C, - 0.08 °C, and 1.96 S.D. was 0.21 °C, 0.44 °C, respectively. As for the field test, the system functioned satisfactorily during real racing conditions performed on the racing circuit. These results suggest that our new system can be used in a race setting as a reliable core temperature monitor and could help to improve safety of motor sports.

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