Learning from a global pandemic: Why everyone should invest in a contactless thermometer
As the world now gears to deal with the implications of COVID 19, many experts are trying to focus on what possible preventive measures could have helped contain the pandemic in the early stages. Several global experts feel that the decision to ban international travel should have taken place much earlier as many countries are said to have not conducted proper thermal screening properly at their airports.
Amidst the crisis though there is a silent hero: the contactless thermometer. As the first step of dealing with the pandemic, all countries were required to conduct thermal screening of incoming passengers at airports. The device most commonly used was the contactless or the infrared thermometer. The most obvious and important advantage of such a device is that it can measure temperature without touching any skin surface. This makes the device ideal for recording the temperature of a large population such as in an instance of an epidemic. However, it is also useful for families and individuals where one member might be suffering from any contagious illness.
The device usually measures the temperature in a few seconds and displays on a prominent screen thereby saving time and increasing efficiency.
Given that mercury thermometers are not being used in the UK as well as the EU, contactless thermometers are increasingly gaining popularity across markets. According to the UK’s National Institute for Health Research, using non-contact infrared thermometers (NCITs) can contribute in causing less distress to children compared to other conventional methods of measuring temperature. Several such devices also have memory space and can record upto 40 readings while offering details about trends in temperature variation. Most such devices offer the option of collecting readings in both units: Celsius and Fahrenheit. Some contactless thermometers initiate a self-test before starting up to ensure operational accuracy. Certain devices also come with a fever alert while measuring body temperature.
Many companies are now focusing on improving the response time of these products to as little as 5 seconds, that it within 5 seconds of pulling the trigger of the thermometer, the display must light up with the reading.
The most significant feature of using such a product in times of mass panic is that it requires no training to use. Using this to measure temperature at crowded places does not require one to account for training costs of staff on how to use the device as anybody can use it without having to spend time on reading lengthy manuals. Further, staff can take the temperature while maintain a safe distance from a vulnerable population. This safe distance is possible as a contactless thermometer employs the principle of thermal radiation where temperature measurement is derived from the electromagnetic radiation of particle movement.