Is Temperature Taking The Best Option to Detect Illness?

With the COVID-19 pandemic, there seems to be a notion (most likely from the images we saw from China with the thermal guns to foreheads) that taking temperature to determine if someone has a fever is a good methodology. In a recent study of more than 175 Northwell scientists, clinicians and others, they worked to collect and analyze the data on this topic.

The finding indicates “we need to be looking more broadly” than just at fever in determining whether someone may have COVID-19, said Karina W. Davidson, the lead author of the study and senior vice president at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research.

Here are the facts:

  • The “thermometer gun” has proved to be ineffective, as it tends to be unreliable outside carefully controlled health care settings.  This is according to medical officials and experts on infrared devices. (Source).
  • In terms of controlled health care settings, the CDC states that even if the operator is a healthcare professional that’s been properly trained using thermometer gun, he/she must do so over human surfaces that are dry / non-hairy location such as the forehead, and do all testing in a draft-free room at a constant temperature between 60.8°F (16°C) and 104°F (40°C), and at humidity below 85% (Source).  Therefore, the accuracy of readings can be off by +/- 2 degrees, depending on testing conditions.
  • More importantly, measuring body temperature does not provide adequate screening, as it can potentially miss people/travelers incubating the disease, or people/travelers concealing fever by use of temperature-suppressing medication or treatment.  And in doing so can contribute to the spread/importation of the virus (Source)
  • Instead, CDC recommends that initial diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 performed by collecting and testing an upper respiratory specimen in accordance with CDC’s testing protocol.. (Source).  Unfortunately, such testing is currently too costly, requires hours, and not readily available for massive scaling in public spaces around the globe.
  • Doctors and scientists around the world have confirmed the critical physiologic parameters that must be accurately measured to assure the highest efficacy of testing and to, therefore, screen people.  These parameters are:
    • External Body Temperature (measured in (°F or °C),
    • Respiration Rate (measured in breaths per minute)
    • Heart Rate (measured in beats per minute (BPM)
    • Blood Oxygen Level (measured in SpO2 %)
    • Blood Pressure (measured in units of millimeters of mercury (mmHg)).

The SymptomSense™ Medical Evaluation Gateway the world’s first and only device capable of simultaneously and accurately measuring External Body Temperature +  Respiration Rate + Heart Rate + Blood Oxygen Level, and soon Blood Pressure with zero contact to the human body, and with a test cycle time of ~5 seconds.

After a person is screened by SymptomSense™ the test results, including their body dimensions, are instantly printed on time-stamped & venue-stamped receipt.  In parallel, this data can be captured on a secure, encrypted Microsoft cloud for use by that site for real-time monitoring and predictive analytics.  On the latter, in compliance with local law, this data can be mapped to government systems.

Hope you can count on us and our engineers to be of any assistance, brainstorming, or feedback during your research and evaluation process to determine the necessary new-normal that will INSPIRE CONFIDENCE!

If interested in more information, please feel free to email me

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