Scientific studies support the use of specific devices, also known as thermal imaging systems, to monitor surface skin temperature, as mentioned further below. May include A thermal infrared camera and a temperature reference source in these systems and thermal imaging systems in this document.
Thermal scanning system and non-contact infrared thermometers (NCITs) use several infrared technologies to monitor the temperature. Please see the fact sheet on Non-contact Infrared Thermometers for more information on NCITs.
Benefits of Thermal Imaging Systems
It is unnecessary for the person operating the thermal imaging technology to be close to the analyzed individual. The person in charge of the thermal imaging device could be in another part of the building or room.
The thermal imaging device may monitor surface skin temperature more quickly than a traditional forehead or oral (mouth) thermometer, requiring proximity or physical contact.
According to scientific studies, thermal imaging technologies often detect surface skin temperature reliably when used correctly.
Limitations of Thermal Imaging Systems
It that they for “mass temperature screening.”
These devices measure the temperature of the skin’s surface, which is usually lower than the temperature taken orally. Thermal imaging devices must be correctly calibrated.
These systems are only effective when all of the following conditions:
The methods are appropriate, and the plans are correctly set up and operated.
The person has to follow the instructions, and the individual in charge of the thermal imaging system has received sufficient training.
Thermal Imaging Systems: How to Use Them Correctly
The person in charge of the system should follow all manufacturer instructions to ensure that it is correctly set up and placed in a location where it can accurately monitor surface skin temperature.
The person in charge of the system should prepare wheN will utilize the system correctly and evaluate the individual. See the standards and scientific articles indicated under References below for more information.
Getting Ready for the Use of a Thermal Imaging System
The room temperature should be between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 24 degrees Celsius), with 10 to 50 percent relative humidity.
Try to keep an eye on additional factors that could affect the temperature reading:
Avoid reflective backdrops (such as glass, mirrors, and metallic surfaces) to reduce reflected infrared radiation.
Use in a room with no draught (air movement), is not in direct sunlight, and is not exposed to radiant heat (for example, portable heaters, electrical sources).
Intense lighting should be avoided (for example, incandescent, halogen).
Preparing the Thermal Imaging System
specific systems require using a calibrated blackbody (a tool for testing an infrared temperature sensor) during evaluation. If a calibrated blackbody is needed, consult the manufacturer’s instructions. Some gadgets don’t need one at all.
Warm up the system by turning it on 30 minutes before use.
The Thermal Imaging System is a tool that allows you to see what’s going on within
It should measure only one person’s surface skin temperature at a time.
Place the individual at a fixed distance from the thermal imaging device, directly facing the camera (follow the manufacturer’s instructions for operation).
If utilizing a calibrated blackbody, the image area should contain the person’s entire face.
If the thermal imaging technology detects an elevated temperature, it should use a different approach to confirm a fever. Officials from the Department of Public Health can assist you in determining whether your temperature is an indication of infection.
Can thermal imaging systems be used to detect fevers in areas such as nursing homes, airports, and hospital emergency rooms?
A: It’s critical to determine whether a thermal imaging system will deliver the desired findings in high-throughput areas before deploying it. We realize that these devices are in medical and non-medical settings for first temperature testing and triaging persons with excessive temperatures. should not use them to take the temperature of a large group of individuals in a packed place simultaneously, also known as “mass temperature screening.”
There may be more acceptable approaches to assess and triage people depending on where the system will, especially if there is a chance that contaminated persons may not be straight away. Consider the following scenario:
In a nursing home, an incorrect temperature reading or a contagious person who hasn’t developed a fever could transfer the infection to other residents. Other assessment approaches and infection control practices may be more beneficial in this scenario.
Diagnostic testing may be too challenging in airports, workplaces, grocery stores, music venues, and other areas where prominent individuals are for mass temperature screening due to the time and money required to screen and obtain findings. These methods will miss most people with COVID-19 who are contagious. When employed as part of a more effective risk management strategy, thermal imaging devices could be an option for initial temperature assessment in these scenarios.
A thermal imaging system in a hospital emergency department may assist in swiftly assessing temperature and triaging patients to decide who needs further treatment or isolation.
Are thermal imaging systems used for body temperature assessment considered medical devices?
A: Telethermographic systems are devices used for medical purposes, as stated in the enforcement policy. FDA will consider the following factors when determining whether these items are for medical use:
They are labeled or otherwise intended for use by a health care practitioner, in a health care institution or environment, and for an intended use that fulfills the definition of a device, such as body temperature measurement for diagnostic reasons, including in non-medical settings.
How does a thermal imaging system differ from a thermometer?
A: Surface temperatures can without contact using thermal imaging devices and non-contact infrared thermometers (NCIT). A thermal imaging device may measure temperature differences across numerous places, providing a relative temperature map of an area of the body. In contrast, an NCIT measures surface temperature in a single location. The use of thermal imaging equipment to determine initial body temperature measurements by the guidance’s enforcement policy.