Fever screening works – but only if the measurement is carried out exactly according to special rules!

Contactless fever screening is one of the most pragmatic measures in the fight against COVID-19. However, this only applies if the measurement is carried out accurately and according to specially defined rules. „The fact remains that various series studies (including WHO, RKI etc.) confirm that fever is a dominant symptom in COVID-19 patients. This also coincides with the experience we have gained in our own clinical studies.“, said Thomas Fritz, CEO of Kentix GmbH. „Previous series studies on the effectiveness of contactless body temperature measurements provide a distorted picture, as we now know that the measuring systems used did not usually meet the necessary requirements“, Thomas Fritz added.

Although contactless body temperature measurement is not used to reliably identify every case of infection, it can be used to identify those that are symptomatic with fever. According to Maria van Kerkhove, virologist at the WHO, it is precisely the symptomatic cases that are the drivers of pandemics. Identifying these cases at an early stage or discouraging participation in crowds through the presence of a measurement effectively curbs their spread. This is the reason why body temperature measurement at central entrances has been a standard in many countries for years.

From a purely technical point of view, determining body temperature using contactless measuring methods is anything but trivial. To meet these requirements, there is, among other things, an IEC 80601-2-59 standard that describes exactly how such measurements are to be carried out. One of the aims is to reliably measure the narrowest temperature ranges between 37.5 °C (99.5 °F) and 38.0 °C (100.4 °F) as these provide the first signs of infection. In the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, a veritable multi-billion dollar gold rush in the field of contactless body temperature measurement has emerged. The often less serious protagonists usually promise much more than the technologies they offer physically deliver.

We will not go into the mostly excessive pricing here. The consequences are overpriced, worthless or even dangerously wrong measurements. This leads to a false sense of security and seriously damages the reputation of this important measure.

IPVM (ipvm.com), a manufacturer-independent portal in the field of video security, has conducted tests on various thermal cameras and other solutions. As a rule, no good ratings could be given. From IPVM’s point of view, many solutions for this type of application are extremely limited or even not suitable (see also https://ipvm.com/reports/china-fever-comp).

The truth comes out in the application, as a report in Miami New Time, among others, shows. In Miami, 10 thermal cameras for $400,000 were installed on public buildings to measure fever. In addition to the horrendous costs and inaccurate measurements, it turned out that fraud software was used. If it detects a face in the image, a standard body temperature is output – although the face is only printed on one sheet of paper. This is just one of many examples that leave users disappointed and often with negative press.

But how can a contactless body temperature measurement be carried out sensibly?
For this purpose, the IEC 80601-2-59 standard defines clear indoor measurement environment conditions, but also clear measurement conditions such as

  • a defined, shortest possible distance to the face
  • straight, defined position of the face to the measuring device
  • Faces must be as uncovered as possible
  • glasses must be removed for measurement

The Kentix SmartXcan was developed in accordance with these guidelines and can therefore justifiably claim to be a reliable solution for contactless body temperature measurement. This has also been confirmed by IPVM in an own and independent test. In particular, the exact measurement, simple installation, intuitive use, very good manipulation protection and the attractive price/performance ratio (EU: € 695 / non-EU: well below $ 1,000) were highlighted. The high sales figures in over 40 countries also confirm the high customer satisfaction with the SmartXcan system.

It can be summarised that contactless body temperature measurement is a very effective measure if carried out correctly. Kentix delivers on its promise to have reinvented it with the SmartXcan to deliver accurate, simple and efficient measurement.