Must-Have Medical Devices

For medical professionals and private citizens concerned for their healthcare alike, various aspects of health require monitoring. From fitness enthusiasts to those with medical conditions, various tools are available for monitoring physiological systems. These provide direct feedback about body function and its optimal performance thereof.

Essential medical devices include:

  • Thermometers
  • Inhalers
  • Blood Pressure Devices
  • Oximeters
  • Glucometers

Temperature monitoring is essential in these times of a global pandemic, as inhalers can relieve some symptoms of Covid-19. In addition, careful monitoring of blood pressure will help with heart disease, and stroke assessment and oximeters may also help with Covid concerns as they measure the oxygen levels in the blood. Furthermore, for diabetics, a glucometer is an essential tool for monitoring blood sugar levels.

Medical Thermometers

Perhaps one of the most critical medical devices, the thermometer, is the first one used when determining a fever. Medical thermometers have multiple uses for various scenarios, and there are numerous types. They are beneficial for detecting fever[1] and are also used to measure the core temperature of babies and pregnant women[2].

Clinical thermometers read temperature via heat sensors. Depending on the medical scenario, a thermometer may be placed in the ear, the rectum, mouth, or armpit[3]

Respiratory Inhalers

Inhalers are a well-known medical device, and there are many types for numerous conditions. Asthma is one of the most common conditions that require an inhaler. Other serious respiratory issues like COPD[4] may also require an inhaler of some sort. Metered Dose Inhalers (MDI) are the standard, portable type used for conditions like asthma and are administered with a push. 

However, the infirm or young children may not operate an MDI; therefore, a nebulizer might be necessary[4] for automatic dosage.

Blood Pressure Devices

Blood pressure issues are related to severe conditions like heart disease and stroke, and as such, blood pressure-related deaths account for over 7 million per year[5]. Alarmingly, most sufferers of high blood pressure (hypertension) usually do not have any symptoms[6]. Conversely, there are prominent symptoms of low blood pressure (hypotension) such as dizziness, fatigue, and blurred vision.

Digital blood pressure monitors are available for home use and allow regular and quick blood pressure readings to track throughout the day.

Blood Oximeters

A straightforward device to use, an oximeter resembles tweezers and measures the amount of oxygen in the blood. It does this by measuring the amount of red and infrared light absorbed as it passes through a finger or ear lobe; high oxygen absorbs more infrared light while allowing more red light. Low oxygen absorbs more red light and allows more infrared light to pass[7].

Oximeters can be helpful for early detection of Covid-19 since the virus directly affects the respiratory system and oxygen delivery. However, not all Covid patients have low oxygen[8]


People with diabetes benefit enormously from glucometers. These small machines measure the sugar levels in the blood[9]. This determines whether a person with diabetes requires insulin medication and how much. Various types of glucometers are available. They are either invasive, non-invasive, or continuous[9].

Invasive monitors require blood to be drawn, and then a portable machine reads that blood via a strip. Non-invasive devices use chemical sensors but are not as accurate as blood readings. Continuous devices are worn and measure interstitial fluids that contain glucose. They provide constant feedback to a portable machine. 

In Summary

The evolution of technology and a growing concern for our health means many essential devices are needed at home. Whether people have a medical condition or not, they can benefit from most of these. 

Thermometers are excellent for reading body temperature, especially when checking for or monitoring an illness like Covid-19. 

Inhalers are not to be used unless required, but they provide tremendous relief for respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD. 

High and low blood pressure is responsible for millions of deaths per year and can go undetected. Therefore sufferers of hyper or hypotension must obtain inexpensive yet accurate blood pressure devices that keep track of readings. 

A pulse oximeter is also an inexpensive yet helpful device that measures blood oxygen levels; useful for early detection of Covid-19. 

Glucometers are primarily used by people with diabetes but can be used by anyone for tracking blood sugar levels. Advances in technology mean that glucose levels can be monitored without drawing blood.