Though temperatures in Chattanooga are hitting the upper 90s this summer, the Mocs football team continues to prepare for the fall season with voluntary outdoor practices. In an effort to keep the players safe in the extreme heat, the UTC Department of Health and Human Performance is testing a variety of ways to monitor their core body temperature.
Throughout the summer, Dr. Brendon McDermott, UTC Assistant Professor and Clinical Coordinator for the Department of Health and Human Performance, will be running trials with body temperature monitoring pills and headbands with groups of Mocs athletes to test for accuracy.
“The goal of this study is to make sure that healthcare professionals who are monitoring and taking care of athletes are using a validated means of monitoring core temperature,” McDermott said.
The WorkAboutPro is a headband athletes can wear that takes their skin temperature and converts it into their core body temperature. The CorTemp Ingestible Core Body Temperature Sensor is a pill that athletes ingest that wirelessly transmits core body temperature as it travels through the digestive tract.
“In addition to monitoring core temperature, this equipment also measures how hard the athlete is working. In extreme heat, athletes can push themselves too far and experience heat related illnesses. I hope with these trials, we can learn how to better prevent sudden death in sport related to heat stroke.”
McDermott plans to test both methods throughout the summer practice season and release his data in the fall. In his study, he is factoring in accuracy, ease of use, and cost of the product.
“Though the pills have been used for awhile, they aren’t very cost effective. They currently cost $40 each. The headbands and monitoring system costs $5,000, but it’s a one-time cost,” he continued.