Does the infrared thermometer detect temperature accurately?

May 15, 2020COVID Literature Appraisal, Epidemiology, Indications and tests for diagnosis

The existing literature suggests that infrared thermometer may miss a significant fraction of patients with pyrexia, giving a false sense of safety. The handheld infrared thermometer does not measure the temperature accurately. The personal experience of the individuals using it presently is that the temperature recorded by the infrared thermometer is lower than the actual temperature.

Journal Articles reviewed

    1. Hooper VD, Andrews JO. Accuracy of noninvasive core temperature measurement in acutely ill adults: the state of the science. Biol Res Nurs2006;8:24e34.
    2. Bijur PE, Shah PD, Esses D. Temperature measurement in the adult emergency department: oral, tympanic membrane and temporal artery temperatures versus rectal temperature. Emerg Med J 2016;33:843e7.
    3. Fletcher T, Whittam A, Simpson R, Machin G. Comparison of noncontact infrared skin thermometers. J Med EngngTechnol2018;42:65e71.
    4. Liu CC, Chang RE, Chang WC. Limitations of forehead infrared body temperature detection for fever screening for severe acute respiratory syndrome. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol2004;25:1109e11.
    5. Hausfater P, Zhao Y, Defrenne S, Bonnet P, Riou B. Cutaneous infrared thermometry for detecting febrile patients. Emerg Infect Dis 2008;14:1255e8.
    6. Tay MR, Low YL, Zhao X, Cook AR, Lee VJ. Comparison of infrared thermal detection systems for mass fever screening in a tropical healthcare setting. Publ Health 2015;129:1471e8.


Indications and tests for diagnosis-Infrared Thermometers