John Zeal and David Morley
The ThermoSpot is a liquid crystal temperature gauge that indicates hypothermia by changing color. This product was selected for inclusion in WHO’s 2012 Compendium of Innovative Health Technologies for Low-Resource Settings.
The product has been targeted for use in rural, under-resourced areas where at-home births are common.
Goal 3: to improve and promote good health.
Neonates suffering from hypothermia in home or community settings.
Women giving at-home births and community health workers in low resource settings.
ThermoSpot is manufactured at small capacity in the United Kingdom.
ThermoSpot is available for purchase in packs of 25 on the Maternova website. The product is also distributed by Teaching-aids at Low Cost (TALC). TALC typically distributes to NGOs, hospitals, and health clinics in African countries.Interview with distributor
ThermoSpot is included in an integrated neonatal kit that is being distributed through the national Lady Health Worker program in Pakistan as a part of an ongoing clinical study. ThermoSpot is also being distributed to mothers in Kenya as a part of an ongoing clinical study that is investigating the relationship between the use of neonatal toolkits and neurodevelopment. Both studies are sponsored by The Hospital for Sick Children.
Maternova has distributed tens of thousands of Thermospots.Interview with representative TALC has distributed 179 ThermoSpot packages since 2013.Interview with distributor
LEDs, audio alarm w/dB level, etc.
temperature, oxygen saturation, HR, etc.
The ThermoSpot is a liquid crystal temperature indicator in the form of a flexible plastic disc that sticks directly onto the newborn’s skin. If the infant’s temperature is between 36.5ºC (97.7ºF) and 37.5ºC (99.5ºF), the black disk changes to a green smiling face to indicate that the temperature is within a normal range. If the baby’s temperature drops below 36.5ºC, the smile begins to fade until the disk turns black at 35.5ºC. ThermoSpot can be used for 7-10 days consecutively and can be reused once cleaned with soap and water if it is attached to the skin with surgical tape.
Diameter: 12 mm
A warranty is not included with purchase of ThermoSpot. The product is robust and inexpensive and is therefore not intended to be serviceable.Interview with representative
There are no replacement components available. Maternova recommends for the user to simply replace the sticker once it no longer works.Interview with representative
The thermometer can be reused for up to 1 year if stored in a cool, dark location away from direct sunlight when not in use.
The ThermoSpot performs reliably and accurately within an operating tolerance of ± 0.5˚ Celsius.
A study with 180 observations that was conducted in an urban Indian slum reported that the ThermoSpot sensitivity and specificity for the detection of hypothermia (axillary temperature below 35°C) were 88% and 97% respectively when compared to digital electric thermometers.1 However, a study conducted in Zimbabwe with a total of 2787 thermometer readings reported that the sensitivity and specificity detection of hypothermia was 18% and 100% respectively.2 A study conducted at a rural hospital in Malwai reported that ThermoSpot readings were in agreement with rectal temperature measurements taken with a low-reading glass-mercury thermometer in 99 of 100 measurements across ten newborns.3 An additional study conducted in Malawi with 162 children suffering with sevever acute malnutrition reported that the specificity of the ThermoSpot was consistently above 94% and that 93% of mothers were satisfied with the device4. Data from a study conducted in Uttar Pradesh, India showed that there was no effect on neonatal mortality when the ThermoSpot was integrated into the newborn care package.5 For a study in Nepal, sensitivity and specificity of ThermoSpot in detecting moderate hypothermia was found to be 97.8% and 99.8% respectively.6
St Stephen’s Hospital, University of Zimbabwe, Embangweni Mission Hospital, University of Bristol, University of Malawi, King George Medical University, Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital
The site that is chosen on the newborn must be cleaned with alcohol before the ThermoSpot is attached.
1.Green, D. A., Kumar, A., & Khanna, R. (2006). Neonatal hypothermia detection by ThermoSpot in Indian urban slum dwellings. Archives of Disease in Childhood. Fetal and Neonatal Edition, 91(2), F96–F98. doi: 10.1136/adc.2005.078410.
2.Kambarami, R., Chidede, O., & Pereira, N. (2002). ThermoSpot in the detection of neonatal hypothermia. Annals Of Tropical Paediatrics, 22(3), 219.
3.Kennedy, N., Gondwe, L., Morley, D. C. Temperature monitoring with ThermoSpots in Malawi. The Lancet. 2000 April; 355(9212): 1364.
4.Mole T, Kennedy N, Ndoya N, Emond A, Bassat Q. ThermoSpots to Detect Hypothermia in Children with Severe Acute Malnutrition. Plos ONE [serial online]. September 2012;7(9):1-6. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed June 15, 2016.
5.Kumar, V., Mohanty, S., Kumar, A., Misra, R. P., Santosham, M., Awasthi, S., Baqui, A. H., Singh, P., Singh, V., Ahuja, R. C., Singh, J. V., Malik, G. K., Ahmed, S., Black, R. E., Bhandari, M., Darmstadt, G. L. Effect of community-based behaviour change management on neonatal mortality in Shivgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. 2008 September; 372(9644): 1151-1162.
6.Shrestha, M., Basnet, S., Shrestha, P.S. Comparison of Liquid Crystal Device (Thermospot) with Low Reading Axillary Thermometer in Detecting Neonatal Hypothermia. Pediatric Oncall [serial online] 2010[cited 2010 August 1];7. Art #45. Available From : http://www.pediatriconcall.com/Journal/Article/FullText.aspx?artid=322&type=J&tid=&imgid=&reportid=126&tbltype=
7.Turab, A., Pell, L. G., Bassani, D. G., Soofi, S., Ariff, S., Bhutta, Z. A., Morris, S. K. The community-based delivery of an innovative
neonatal kit to save newborn lives in rural Pakistan: design of a cluster randomized trial. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2014 September. doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-14-315.
8.Morrice, JS, Manda, LST,Kacheche, A. (2003). Hypothermia and the use of ThermoSpots. Tropical Doctor, 33(4), 253-253.
9.Pejaver, Ranjan Kumar, Nisarga, R,Gowda, B. (2004). Temperature monitoring in newborns using thermospot. Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 71(9), 795.
CE marked. No additional details available pertaining to compliance with regulatory standards.
ThermoSpot was featured in a 2012 report from PATH on technologies for maternal infection.
ThermoSpot has been featured in the World Health Organization’s Compendium of Innovative Health Technologies for Low-Resource Settings.
USAID also published a report on the study conducted in Uttar, Pradesh India.
Expert advisors have questioned whether scaling up production has been considered and suggest that manufacturer should consider focusing on creating demand either by partnering with local distributors/NGOs or contracting with larger international and national organizations. Expert advisors also expressed concern about whether designers have considered risks associated with misuse or mishandling of ThermoSpot.
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