Researchers have recently published a small-scale study into the possibility of using infrared technology to track and record changes in premature infant body temperatures without coming in contact with skin. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Perinatal Medicine.

For the sake of the study, researchers tracked the body temperature of 10 premature infants in various positions. Results of infrared readings were compared to conventional temperature tracking methods. Temperatures were taken at the upper abdomen, leg, arm, head, and back. All infants were tracked through four phases - I1 (incubator phase 1), SSC1 (skin-to-skin care initial), SSC2 (skin-to-skin care after 90 minutes) and I2 (second incubator phase).

Researchers found infrared technology was able to detect small changes in body temperature. Of specific concern was a cooling phase in I2 after skin-to-skin contact.

Source: Heimann K, Jergus K, Abbas AK, Heussen N, Leonhardt S, Orlikowsky T. Infrared thermography for detailed registration of thermoregulation in premature infants. J Perinat Med. 2013 Feb 27:1-8. DOI: 10.1515/jpm-2012-0239.