Non-Contact Thermometers Are Inaccurate When Screening For Coronavirus According To New Study From Top Medical Institutions
WATERTOWN, Mass., April 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- For more than a year since the global pandemic began, public temperature screenings among large numbers of people have become the norm in assessing symptoms and limiting the spread of coronavirus. Temperature checks are the most frequent detection tactics, as having a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher is one of the earliest and most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms. In most public screening settings, such as at airports, mass gatherings, and large building entrances, non-contact infrared thermometers (NCITs) are largely being used to take people's temperatures. A recent study1 published by scientists at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland shows that these NCITs are ineffective, and therefore should not be used for public health screenings.
"The medical community has long known that non-contact thermometers are highly inaccurate yet, in spite of this, many use them anyway, largely for convenience and 'show' value. New, highly credible published studies about their inaccuracy make a powerful statement and cannot be ignored," said Francesco Pompei, Ph.D., CEO of Exergen Corporation. "Given the clear correlation between fever and COVID-19, it is imperative that an accurate thermometer be used in fever surveillance."
According to the study, non-contact thermometers are ineffective due to a variety of factors. Since NCITs measure surface body temperature instead of core body temperature, they are influenced by numerous variables, such as a person's age or gender and considerations like outdoor temperature that can blunt their accuracy. The study also references the fact that the body follows a circadian rhythm, highest in the evening and lowest in the morning. This suggests that temperature screenings twice daily with an accurate thermometer are an imperative when screening for fever, reinforcing the need for accurate thermometers to be used to secure these readings.
ABOUT EXERGEN CORPORATION
Exergen manufactures and markets two series of the TemporalScanner thermometer: a professional version for hospitals and clinics, and a consumer version sold in major retailers nationwide. More than two billion temperatures are taken each year with TemporalScanners. Used in thousands of hospitals and clinics across the country as well as in millions of homes, TemporalScanners are the #1 preference of pediatricians, nurses, and mothers. The Exergen TemporalScanner's accuracy is supported by more than 80 peer-reviewed published studies covering all ages from preterm infants through geriatrics and all care areas from hospitals to homes. For additional information, visit www.exergen.com.
1 Wright and Mackowiak 2021. Why temperature screening for coronavirus disease 2019 with noncontact infrared thermometers does not work. Open Forum Infectious Diseases, Volume 8, Issue 1, January 2021, ofaa603, https://doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofaa603.
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