Published On: Wed, Oct 7th, 2020

The latest in fever detection technology

 

Image source: Human2human.consulting

Fever detection technology has made great strides in the aftermath of coronavirus. It allows for mass screening via temperature measurement, as fever is an indicator of infection.

Handheld infrared fever detection thermometer

These handheld thermometers are perhaps the most popular fever detection mechanism being employed almost everywhere in the world.  They are very convenient to use as the person just has to hold the thermometer near the forehead of another person. It then gives an estimate of the surface temperature of the person.

If there is any spike in the temperature, the person can be safely averted from entering the premises. They can then visit the top general physician in Karachi for their proper checkup and treatment.

The most important principle of this thermometer is that it is “no-contact” or “no touch,” which is crucial in midst of coronavirus outbreak.

The benefits of handheld infrared fever detection thermometer

Moreover, the thermometer quickly gives the readings of the temperature, and thus is efficient for use in the places where a large number of people can be expected. The bulk can easily be catered to as long lines for entrance also increase the risk of disease spread.

Another benefit of this thermometer is that it does not require many cleanings in between use. Hence, it is very convenient to use, especially in the busy complexes and offices.

The fact that the thermometer is cost effective is a big factor. It enables greater usage and hence access. Such cheaper solutions allow for a more effective disease control. Moreover, it is completely safe to use as well. It has also been helpful in controlling COVID-19.

The limitations of these thermometers

However, an important point to remember is that these thermometers are not to be used in medical settings. Temperature of the inside of the body is different from the outside as surface temperature is also contingent on other factors. So, while it is good enough for giving a reasonable estimate, medical treatments call for more specific temperature reading and so more accurate thermometers ought to be used.

Moreover, a large number of people have the virus but are asymptomatic. Hence, despite being carriers, they do not have fever, which risks contamination in such places. And even if they are symptomatic, many people take drugs like ibuprofen and paracetamol that reduce fever. They thus are cleared by the thermometer.

Due to these loopholes, people inside the space may have a false sense of security to the people who might get slightly less strict with precautions and thus become vulnerable to the viruses.

Furthermore, uncertainty is also a big limitation. While all devices have these, surface temperature measurement technology is more liable for flaws. Hence, there can be false negatives and positives, both.

As every company has different build of the thermometer, their methodology of use can vary. The convention mercury thermometers are not contingent on brand; the usage, the ranges are unanimous all across. However, these thermometers and their setup, usage etc. varies. This is a problem for the low-literacy areas where people then specifically have to be trained as per the equipment.

Thermal camera scanners

Thermal scanners are another type of fever detection technology. These scanners measure the heat on the person’s skin and allows to check if they are feverish.

The benefits

 Thermal scanners allow for the quick ballpark measurement of temperatures. Unlike the handheld thermometers, the thermal camera scanners simply need to be placed at the entrance and they automatically measure the temperature.

The Limitations of thermal scanners

One of the biggest limitations is that these scanners just measure the surface temperature, which is not the same as the temperature at the core of the body, hence the readings can be misleading.

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