Are Non-contact Thermometers Accurate?

It is essential to evaluate fever status in admitted to triage rooms. Accurate, rapid, and safe measurement of core body temperature is very important. The gold standard is rectal temperature; however, taking this temperature is invasive, impractical, and time-consuming in triage rooms with high patient flows and is associated with the possibility of perforation.

Are Non contact Thermometers Accurate?

Axillary thermometry is noninvasive and safe, and the results correlate well with rectal temperature.

However, axillary thermometers are also impractical and measurements are time-consuming in crowded hospital settings. Indeed, glass mercury thermometers are no longer used in Turkey because of the risk of metal toxicity.

Are Non contact Thermometers Accurate
Are Non contact Thermometers Accurate

Most accurate infrared thermometer

Body temperature is very important when making triage decisions. Infrared thermometer (IFR thermometry) is safe, simple, comfortable, and rapid; thus, it is an attractive alternative to rectal and axillary measurements. However, are IFR measurements reliable? Only a few studies have compared IFR thermometers with axillary devices, and the results have been inconsistent.

We found that forehead IFR thermometry did not reliably predict axillary temperature. However, as an alternative to axillary measurements, particularly in children aged 2 to 6 years, IFR measurements performed on the lateral side of the neck are reliable, comfortable, rapid, and noninvasive. Such measurements should be used to screen for fever in busy settings such as pediatric triage rooms.

Are Non contact Thermometers Accurate
Are Non contact Thermometers Accurate

If the question is: Are Non contact Thermometers Accurate?

The sensitivity and specificity for the non-contact thermometer is 97%. The non-contact infrared thermometer is a reliable, comfortable, and accurate option for measurement of temperature and is very useful for the screening of fever in the pediatric population.

When non-contact readings are critical, the tool needed for this job: infrared thermometer!

The measuring surface temperature can provide clues to such problems as leaky ductwork, over-stressed motors, faulty equipment, or food that is in danger of spoiling.

There is no easier way to take such readings than with an infrared thermometer! Ideal for use when objects are extremely hot, moving quickly, difficult to reach, or vulnerable to contamination.

IFR thermometer

Lightweight, Compact, Quick, and Easy to Use.

Noncontact infrared (IR) thermometers use infrared technology to quickly and conveniently measure an object’s surface temperature. They provide fast, accurate, repeatable readings without ever touching the target. Just aim, pull the trigger, and read the temperature on the LCD.

  • • Safely measure hot, hazardous, or hard-to-reach surfaces
  • • Measure food temperature without contaminating or damaging product
  • • Log several readings per second instead of waiting several minutes for a single reading from a contact thermometer

How does IR work?

IR thermometers capture the invisible infrared energy naturally emitted from all objects. Infrared radiation is part of the electromagnetic spectrum which includes radio waves, microwaves, visible light, ultraviolet, gamma, and X-rays.

On the spectrum, infrared falls between visible light and radio waves. Infrared wavelengths are usually expressed in microns with the infrared spectrum extending from 0.7 to 1000 microns. In practice, the 0.7 to 14-micron band is used for IR temperature measurement.

How to ensure accurate temperature measurement?

A solid understanding of infrared technology and its principles lies behind accurate temperature measurement. When the temperature is measured by a non-contact device, the IR energy emitted from the measured object passes through the optical system of the thermometer and is converted to an electrical signal at the detector.

This signal is then displayed as a temperature reading. There are several important factors that determine the accurate measurement. The most important factors are emissivity, distance-to-spot ratio, field-of-view, and location of a hot spot.

Distance-to-spot ratio.

The optical system of an infrared thermometer collects the infrared energy from a circular measurement spot and focuses it on the detector. Optical resolution is defined by the ratio of the distance from the instrument to the object compared to the size of the spot (90% of energy) being measured (D:S ratio). The larger the ratio number the better the instrument’s resolution, and the smaller the spot size that can be measured.

The laser sighting included in some instruments only helps to aim at the measured spot. A recent innovation in infrared optics is the addition of a Close Focus feature, which provides accurate measurement of small target areas without including unwanted background temperatures.

Field-of-view: Make sure that the target is larger than the spot size the unit is measuring. The smaller the target, the closer you should be to it. When accuracy is critical, make sure that the target is at least twice as large as the spot size.

How to take temperature measurement?

To take a temperature measurement, just point the unit at the object you wish to measure. Pull the trigger and read the temperature on the unit’s LCD. Be sure to consider the distance to-spot size ratio and field-of-view. There are important things to keep in mind while using infrared thermometers:

  • Measure surface temperature only: The IR thermometer cannot measure internal or direct contact temperatures.
  • Do not take temperature measurement through the glass: Glass has very distinctive reflection and transmission properties that do not allow accurate infrared temperature reading. Infrared thermometers are not recommended for use in measuring shiny or polished metal surfaces (stainless steel, aluminum, etc.).
  • Locate a hot spot: To find a hot spot, aim the thermometer outside the area of interest, then scan across with an up-and-down motion until you locate the hot spot.
  • Watch for environmental conditions: Factors such as steam, dust, and smoke can prevent accurate measurement by obstructing the unit’s optics.
  • Ambient temperatures: If the thermometer is exposed to abrupt ambient temperature differences of 20° or more, allow it to adjust to the new ambient temperature for at least twenty minutes.
Are Non-contact Thermometers Accurate?

The accuracy of the handheld IR thermometer is primarily determined by the distance-to-spot ratio. This ratio is the size of the area being evaluated by the IR thermometer as it relates to distance. In other words, the area being measured becomes larger as the distance increases.
The smaller the target, the closer you should be to it. This ratio will have a significant impact on the accuracy or precision of the reading.

How Accurate Is an Infrared Thermometer?

The non-contact infrared thermometer is a reliable, comfortable, and accurate option for measurement of temperature and is very useful for the screening of fever in the pediatric population. The sensitivity and specificity for the non-contact thermometer is 97%. The negative predictive value is 99%, which is especially important to rule out fever and avoid unnecessary laboratory workup.

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All of these questions above drive you crazy every time they occur to you. We know your doubts because we used to be in this strange situation when looking for a thermometer made in the United States.

Non-Contact Medical Thermometer

Looking for the best non-contact medical thermometer and contactless thermometer to quickly check yours and your family’s temperature? We’ve found some of the best non-contact infrared thermometers that can measure temperature in one second while also maintaining zero personal contact.

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