Wednesday 24 March 2021

Temperature scanners: Limited value in detecting employee COVID-19 symptoms?

Many workplaces within the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector have put in place thermographic camera scanners on building entrances in order to reduce employee contact where one employee may have the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the ‘coronavirus’) and is exhibiting symptoms associated with the disease that the coronavirus can cause – COVID-19. These devices assess the temperature of the skin by taking a computer generated image. Alternatively, or in addition to on-site temperature measurements, many firms are also asking people to take their temperature before travel to work. This requirement has led to an increase in sales of hand-held thermal scanning thermometers.



Is the measurement of temperature useful COVID-19 safety measure? While temperature rises are a sign of symptomatic infection, the method of measurement may not be the most accurate. One reason for this is because thermographic cameras have not been designed to be medical devices and may not have the necessary accuracy. Another reason, and one drawn from recent research, is that the assessment of the temperature of the outer layers of the skin appears to be a poor detector of the actual temperature inside the body. This, and the associated issues around thermograms, are addressed in this IVT article.




Sandle, T. (2021) Temperature scanners: Limited value in detecting employee COVID-19 symptoms?, IVT Network, March 2021, at:


Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources

Special offers