As COVID-19 continues to set new records nationwide, the importance of understanding the difference in accuracy between temporal artery thermometers (TAT) and non-contact devices – now used widely for public temperature screenings – is of paramount importance. Non-contact thermometers are proven to be ineffective in measuring actual body temperature, while the accuracy of the TemporalScanner is supported by more than 80 peer-reviewed published clinical studies. This has serious ramifications for family health and public safety.
A new study in the American Journal of Infection Control is the first to compare the accuracy of no-touch thermometers to temporal artery thermometers. Australian researchers conducted a prospective observational study on a sample of 265 non-infectious patients at two hospitals.
When body temperatures read below 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit, the thermometers showed similar results, but as temperatures rose above that, non-contact scanners’ accuracy decreased. Temperatures were farther apart as they rose. The non-contact scanners missed five out of every six fevers detected by Exergen temporal artery thermometers.
According to the authors, “This is the first study to compare the accuracy of non-contact infrared thermometers (NCIT) to TAT in adult patients. Although mass fever screening is currently underway using NCIT, these results indicate that the NCIT may not be the most accurate device for fever mass screening during a pandemic.”
“During this escalating and unpredictable pandemic, there is one constant in helping to ensure public safety: the ability to accurately screen for fever,” said Francesco Pompei, Ph.D., CEO of Exergen Corporation. “Non-contact thermometers are proven to be inaccurate in measuring core body temperature, yet they’ve been used extensively from the start of the pandemic, giving a false sense of security.
“In public settings, they are large ‘theater,” and as such their use should be seriously questioned. Only thermometers with extensive clinical studies, such as the Exergen TemporalScanner, can be trusted for accuracy during these threatening times of COVID.”