Reviewed by Stephen Freed, Diabetes Educator, BSPharm, Publisher
The TempTouch helps you to care for your patient — even when they may be at home — by alerting them to pre-ulcerative inflammation. Patients can then schedule an appointment as soon as possible. TempTouch’s early warning, linked with your E&M visit, will augment the care of diabetic patients and help to prevent ulcers which can lead to amputation.
How It Works
The TempTouch is an infrared skin thermometer. Patients — who have lost the feeling in their feet — take temperatures on the bottom of both feet each morning and compare these temperatures from spot to spot.
If a spot on one foot demonstrates a change in temperature, compared to the same spot on the other foot, and sustains that change in temperature or higher (rises to four degrees Fahrenheit (2ºC) or more for two days or more) we know that a problem may be occurring. The patient is alerted to call their physician.
As a diabetes educator, I have found that when I find a difference in temperature and explain to the patient that their risk for amputation is elevated, it also helps me motivate them to controlling their blood sugars more aggressively. It is a simply a great tool to initiate life-style changes.
The TempTouch has gone through clinical studies published in Diabetes Care which concluded that infrared temperature home monitoring, in serving as an “early sign,” appears to be a simple and useful adjunct in the prevention of diabetic foot ulcerations.(1)
Another study in Diabetes Care found that the results suggest that at-home patient self-monitoring with daily foot temperatures may be an effective adjunctive tool to prevent foot complications in individuals at high risk for lower-extremity ulceration and amputation.(2)
Researchers reporting in JAMA said that high temperature gradients between feet may predict the onset of neuropathic ulceration and self-monitoring may reduce the risk of ulceration. (3)
In the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, they published the results of a study that showed that the low-cost, general-use infrared thermometers used in the study showed good accuracy, reliability, and performance and are appropriate for use in a foot-care clinic.(4)
- Diabetes Care, (2007 Jan;30(1):14-20. By Lavery LA, Higgins KR, Lanctot DR, Constantinides GP, Zamorano RG, Athanasiou KA, Armstrong DG, Agrawal CM.) Preventing diabetic foot ulcer recurrence in high-risk patients: use of temperature monitoring as a self-assessment tool.
- Diabetes Care. 2004 Nov;27(11):2642-7. By Lavery LA, Higgins KR, Lanctot DR, Constantinides GP, Zamorano RG, Armstrong DG, Athanasiou KA, Agrawal CM. Home monitoring of foot skin temperatures to prevent ulceration.
- Journal of the American Medical Association: 2007 Dec;120(12):1042-6. By Armstrong DG, Holtz-Neiderer K, Wendel C, Mohler MJ, Kimbriel HR, Lavery LA. Skin temperature monitoring reduces the risk for diabetic foot ulceration in high-risk patients.
- Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association. 2007 Sep-Oct;97(5):360-5, By Foto JG, Brasseaux D, Birke JA. Essential features of a handheld infrared thermometer used to guide the treatment of neuropathic feet.