December 2020: Amid the undeterred surge of COVID-19 infectious wave where fever is one of the common symptoms, understanding the difference in accuracy between Temporal Artery Thermometers (TAT) and No-Touch Thermometers (infrared guns) is utmost important because No-Touch Thermometers are now widely used for public temperature screenings. However, the accuracy of No-Touch Thermometers is in question because recently the first study of its kind to compare the accuracy of No-Touch Thermometers to Temporal Artery Thermometers has been published in the American Journal of Infection Control. Australian researchers conducted a prospective observational study on a sample of 265 non-infectious patients at two hospitals.
During the observational study when No-Touch Thermometers and Temporal Artery Thermometers were used to collect the body temperature recordings, the body temperatures read below 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit, the thermometers showed similar results, but as temperatures rose above that, No-Touch Thermometers' accuracy decreased. Temperatures were farther apart as they rose. The No-Touch Thermometers missed five out of every six fevers detected by Temporal Artery Thermometers (TAT). While the accuracy of the Temporal Scanner is supported by more than 80 peer-reviewed published clinical studies.
A Temporal Scanner such as the Temporal Artery Thermometer is known for taking accurate readings extremely fast, without causing discomfort. They measure the body temperature using infrared scanners; perfect for parents who have escape artists for kids. Temporal artery thermometers measure the temperature of the blood of the temporal artery, which is positioned 2 mm under the skin of the forehead, in barely three to five seconds. Therefore, the readings of the core temperatures are extremely quick next to being very accurate.
"Temperature measurement can be one part of the assessment to determine if a person has an elevated temperature potentially caused by COVID-19 infection. One method to measure a person's surface temperature is the use of 'No-touch' or non-contact temperature assessment devices; however, these devices have certain limitations. And the recent prospective observational study by Australian researchers done on non-infectious patients has also shown promising results in measuring actual body temperature 'No-touch' devices are found to be ineffective, while the accuracy of the measurements of Temporal Artery Thermometers (TAT) are seem to be promising. Temporal Artery Temperatures seem to be quite promising for India as Accuracy matters, as it can be the difference between life and death" said Dr C S Pandav, Global Public Health Expert, Former, HoD, Community Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi.
"As the COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay until the well-tested vaccines are being introduced, more adults and children are going back to work and school. Screening for fever, a primary symptom of COVID-19, has therefore never been more important. However, as per the recent study, non-contact thermometers are providing a very false security as they are proven to be inaccurate in measuring core body temperature. However, thermometers with extensive clinical studies, such as TAT (Temporal Artery Thermometers), are looking quite promising & can be trusted for accuracy during these threatening times of COVID, which is also proven by the observational study done in Australia. We in India look at such a promising & reassuring solution in form of TAT Thermometers in near future in a very positive way," said Dr Tarun Sahni, Head Internal Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, President, Hyperbaric Society of India.
Temporal Artery Thermometers use an infrared
scanner to measure the temperature of the temporal artery in the forehead by
slightly and gently scanning the forehead. They read the infrared heat waves
released by the temporal artery, which is close to the surface of the skin.
These show accurate readings in a matter of seconds with accuracy and
efficiency. They are non-invasive and can be used for new-borns, infants,
toddlers, children, teenagers, adults and elderly.