Methods: Six generally healthy subjects, including 5 men, aged 42–64 years, had daily EBT assessed for 5 months and 2 years. All used hand-held devices specifically engineered for personal use, the X-halo®, DMI Singapore. They measured ear temperature (ET) to assess CBT. The EBT devices had data uploaded automatically on an Internet site. The subjects were instructed to record ET at 8-hour intervals if the measurement exceeded 37ºC. Frequency of EBT measurements were increased during febrile illnesses.
Results: Six episodes of fever were documented during the study: 2 cases of rhinovirus infections in which EBT rose by 1.2-1.9ºC above baseline, preceding by 24-72 hours a moderate increase of ET (up to 38ºC); 2 cases of influenza in which EBT rose by >2.0ºC about 6 hours before ET (up to 40ºC); and 2 cases of bacterial infections, urinary and GI, in which EBT rose by ≈1.0ºC simultaneously with ET (up to 39ºC).
Conclusions: EBT rises during incipient viral infections earlier than CBT as seen by ET, providing a window of opportunity for early treatment. EBT assessment allows early detection of illness in patients at risk of exacerbation of underlying obstructive airway diseases.