Amid the rising cases of Coronavirus in the country, we all are adopting various measures to keep ourselves safe and sound like maintaining social distancing, quarantined at our homes, keeping ourselves and the surrounding clean, etc. Amongst all this, there are various essential products and equipment required to protect ourselves from the virus. These may include ventilators, masks, sanitizers, PPE kits, etc. One such essential medical equipment helping us battle this pandemic is Infrared thermometer. In recent times, Infrared thermometers have proven to be one of the most in demand medical devices.
What is Infrared Thermometer?
We all are aware that the most powerful medium or say the reason for the spread of the COVID-19 virus is direct human-to-human contact.
Infrared thermometers are non-contact thermometers that help you measure the temperature from the forehead without coming in contact with the skin. As cases of COVID-19 are constantly on the rise, infrared thermometers are fast becoming the most commonly used medical device. It is helpful in fast and accurate measurement of the body temperature.
Rise of Infrared Thermometer During COVID-19
There are many symptoms of COVID-19 like shortness of breath, dry cough, etc. Another important symptom is fever (high body temperature). In an effort to contain any possible risk of infection, infrared thermometers are a good way to detect the body temperature. It measures the temperature through the forehead from a distance in seconds. While using the Infrared thermometer you don’t need to have physical contact with the person you are testing. This helps in avoiding the risk of getting infected.
Due to its quick measurement and high level of accuracy, the demand of the Infrared thermometer is increasing every passing day. The number of coronavirus cases is increasing rapidly and with fever being a key symptom, it’s important to have a temperature check of the people at every possible place where there’s a huge gathering.
Increasing cases of infected people in India is also a major factor driving the demand in the market. Business Wire reported that an “increasing prevalence of contagious and chronic diseases is expected to be one of the major factors driving the growth of the market.
Infrared thermometers prove to be an efficient device for accurate and frequent body temperature measurement. Factors such as these are likely to drive the demand for infrared thermometers.”
What Areas Is It Being Used?
While battling this pandemic, we clearly know that we ourselves are the carriers of this disease while being totally unaware of it. By the time we will come to know, it may be too late as the virus would have done its work.
We can’t eliminate the risk of the spread of the virus but we still can reduce the risk. For this the country is taking every possible step, one such step is temperature screening as fever is one of the major symptoms.
Some of the places where the infrared thermometer is being commonly used are:
HOSPITAL: Hospital acquired infections are on the rise as infected patients are being brought in for treatment. There are several people visiting the hospitals and it is not possible to test each patient for COVID.
So the healthcare professionals are using Infrared thermometer to get first hand info of the suspected COVID-19 symptom.
Airports: Airport is a place where people are coming from various national and international boundaries. There are chances of people carrying the infection. If they have some possible symptoms, it can be detected through an IR thermometer.
Homes: Trying to be confined to our home, we still have to go out to buy the essentials for daily needs. Even after being fully protected, there are chances you may get infected or bring viruses to your homes. In case of any feelings of a symptom, use an infrared thermometer to monitor the body temperature.
Some other places it can or is being used are offices, malls, and other places where people are visiting frequently.
Mercury Thermometer vs Digital Thermometer vs Infrared Thermometer
Mercury Thermometer: Mercury thermometers have mercury inside the glass to measure the body temperature. It was once the most widely used thermometer, but now mercury thermometers are no longer recommended because they can break and have toxic mercury to escape.
Digital Thermometer: Regular digital thermometers use electronic heat sensors to record body temperature. These were very very popular pre-COVID. The thermometer is used in the mouth or armpit to measure the temperature. But this requires direct contact which can lead to further spread of the virus. Due to this, they are not as frequently used.
Infrared Thermometer: These were in the market for a while, but there was less awareness around this product. Its demand suddenly boomed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The advantage of using an infrared thermometer over a general thermometer is its ‘no-contact’ process. It ensures that no infection is passed on through contact, as physical contact is the main reason for Coronavirus spread.
Types of Infrared Thermometer
For easier and faster use, an infrared thermometer is the best. But it also comes in different types depending on use and function. The main two types of non-contact thermometers are tympanic thermometers and non-contact infrared thermometers.
Tympanic(Ear-mode) Thermometer: An ear-mode infrared thermometer that facilitates temperature acquisition from the ear drum. It measures the thermal radiation from the tympanic membrane and within the ear canal and gives results in seconds.
- Enables the quick detection of body temperature from eardrum
- Acquires temperature readings within 0.5 second
Use: Infrared tympanic membrane thermometers have an advantage. The tympanic membrane and the hypothalamus share an arterial blood supply originating from the carotid artery; therefore, the tympanic membrane is considered to directly reflect core temperature.
Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer: It measures the temperature from the forehead and displays it on a back screen.
- Can be measured from 15 cm distance
- Measures the temperature within 0.5 seconds
- Capable of storing up to 20 sets of measurement data
Use: The advantage of a non-contact infrared thermometer over a tympanic thermometer is that it can be used more conveniently to measure the forehead temperature from a good distance.
How To Use an IR Thermometer
Using an infrared thermometer is quite easy, all you need to do is follow these 3 simple steps
1- Turn on the device
2- Point out the thermometer towards the target body.
3- Read the temperature reflected on the back screen of the thermometer within seconds.
According to the Mayo Clinic, these thermometers use an infrared scanner to measure the temperature of the temporal artery in the forehead.
A report published by the National Center for Biotechnological Information states that the normal temperature range on the forehead is approximately between 31.0 degrees C to 35.6 degrees C. Forehead temperature in excess of 35.6 degrees C is suggestive of fever.
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