Thermal Body Scanners for Covid-19 Detection 

 March 24, 2020

By  Daniel Gray

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Last updated on September 15, 2022

NOTE: For the most up to date information on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) please refer to the CDC's website. Thermal cameras cannot guarantee an accurate diagnosis and the below are not recommended as an alternative to social distancing or intended to treat Coronavirus. If you are experiencing symptoms consult your medical professional immediately.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the entire world has been affected by it in some way. Not only has the COVID-19 virus taken many lives but it's also had a detrimental affect on the economy and the availability of products and services.

There have been over 104 million cases and 2.27 million deaths worldwide since the start of the pandemic. The symptoms of the virus can lie dormant in the human body between two to 14 days. Since the virus poses a major threat to citizens, people are lining up to get tested.

Due to the overwhelming volumes inside hospitals, doctors and other health care professionals are struggling to keep up with testing demands. Is there a way to solve the problem? There are thermal body scanners but can they identify whether someone is infected? Find out more in today's article.

Can a Thermal Camera Identify the Infected?

It should be noted that thermal cameras can't identify or detect whether someone has the Covid 19 virus. But thermal imaging cameras can detect high body temperatures which is one of the symptoms of the virus.

There are some drawbacks to using thermal cameras to scan body temperatures. A thermal camera isn't ideal for scanning large groups of people. The device can only do a temperature screening for one person at a time.

If a person has a high body temperature identified by a thermal camera, a second test needs to be done using a non-contact infrared thermometer. You can also use a touchless screening device for a second test to verify if the person is infected by the Covid 19 virus.

Both thermal imaging cameras and a non-contact infrared thermometers or NCIT can measure skin temperature without making contact with the body. But the difference is that infrared thermometers measure temperatures in a single location. Thermal cameras can measure temperatures in different locations of the human body.

As a result, thermal imaging cameras can create a temperature map of the human body so you can see which parts have elevated temperatures. So if you want to have accurate results for body temperatures consider using a thermal imaging camera.

Benefits of Using Thermal Scanners

thermal scanner for stores

Using these scanners isn't simply to detect whether someone has elevated temperatures associated with coronavirus. There are many benefits a thermometer scanner can offer you. These devices are extremely versatile. Take a look at the following benefits these cameras can provide.

Using Thermal Scanners At a Distance

One of the reasons why business owners or people in public sectors use thermal cameras is because they can do screenings at a safe distance. You don't have to come into contact with anyone while doing measurements.

Kiosk scanners are the best devices to use because it allows people to do self screenings and you can see the results on the system.

Faster Results

Using oral thermometers and forehead devices takes too long. If you're in a public area you want to reduce foot traffic as much as possible. The only way to get quick results is to use a scanner that measures skin temperature and provides results in under two seconds.

Provides Accurate Results

When doing safety inspections you need accurate temperature results. One of the benefits of a thermal imaging camera is that it provides accurate results with fewer false alarms. Some thermal cameras come with analytical software so it can use high contrast images and videos to give you accurate results on temperature differences around a building.

Who Would Benefit from Thermal Scanners?

There are many industries that can benefit from thermal scanners. Airports are setting up thermal scanners to detect elevated temperatures to stop the spread of the Covid 19 virus. Even shop and restaurant owners are using thermal imaging for screenings.

Health care professionals can benefit from using these devices to do screenings for patients that come in for visits.

If you want to provide extra safety for your employees against the Covid 19 virus then perhaps getting a thermal imaging camera will help you. To stop the spread of infections you can take everyone's temperature at the door to see if they show any signs of having a fever.

Below are seven of the best thermal body scanners on the market that can be used to provide accurate temperature results for anyone coming in and out of your business.

Best Thermal Body Scanners

1. Seek Scan Kiosk

The Seek Scan Kiosk measures skin temperature to provide an estimated body temperature. This device is programmed to measure parts of the face to give you reliable results. Since the temperature of the skin can be affected by the environment Seek Scan Kiosk should only be used indoors.

This thermal camera is designed for an all in one temperature screening solution. With a temperature range of ±0.3°C (±0.5°F) it provides that same reliable performance of an infrared temporal thermometer. It also provides a reference heat source so you can see what the standard temperatures are for the human body.

You'll appreciate that Seek Scan Kiosk meets FDA guidelines when it comes to screening people. This device is meant for single scans and is ideal to use in lobbies and entry points.

Product Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 1.18x3.54x3.74 inches
  • Weight: 5.67lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Temperature Range: 96°F to 104°F

2. FLIR EST™ Kiosk

If you work in a high foot traffic area then the FLIR thermal camera may be what you're looking for. It's a device that allows you to measure the skin temperature of anyone coming through your door. You'll clearly see if someone has an elevated body temperature on a large screen display screen.

This kiosk thermal station from FLIR is fully automated so customers or clients can do their own screening quickly and easily. This entire FLIR setup includes a floor stand, A500 EST camera, Windows operated tablet and EST software.

The FLIR thermal scanning set up also includes webhooks and I/O functionality so you can link it to other systems. This thermal camera offers an accuracy of ±0.3°C (±0.5°F) when paired with FLIR screen EST software. Additionally, the FLIR camera has a field of view of 24° × 18° and an IR resolution of 464 × 348.

This kiosk from FLIR has an easy to operate system and can be used by many industries. Use the FLIR thermometer kiosk to provide extra health and safety for your business.

Product Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 14 × 11 × 51.2 inches
  • Weight: 18lb
  • Warranty: 2 years parts and labor and 10 years on the detector
  • Temperature Range: 59°F to 113°F

3. PerfecPrime IR0280H Fever Detection Thermal Camera

If you want a thermal imaging camera that offers reliable screening for high traffic public areas then the PerfecPrime IR0280H is the device you're looking for. Although it's an affordable thermal camera it doesn't compromise on quality.

With this device you can measure temperatures at a safe distance. It's the ideal thermal camera for airports, grocery stores, hair dressers and other small businesses. It's a light handheld thermal camera that allows you to screen one person at a time.

The device has an accuracy of 0.3°C (0.6°F) and the 2.8" LCD color display is clear and allows you to use nine color palettes. The two modes called human and industrial have different ranges. The human mode has a detection range of ± 0.3°C (± 0.6°F) which provides data when you're two meters away from the person you're screening.

There's a tracking system on this thermal camera that allows you to take temperatures from the forehead. With this device you can take a thermal image or an overlay or visual picture.

Product Specifications: 

  • Dimensions: 8.46x2.16x2.44 inches 
  • Weight: 0.50lb
  • Warranty:1 year
  • Temperature Range: 89.6°F-107.6°F

4. Hikvision EBT510

This thermal camera is popular for having an ergonomic design. It's a lightweight device that can measure elevated body temperatures at a safe distance of 3.3 feet away. The device will give you detection of elevated body temperatures in real-time for reliable data.

With the Hikvision EBT510 you get eight hours of continuous operation thanks to the built in ion battery. It offers a 2.4” LCD display screen so you can clearly see information. Furthermore, the camera has ±0.9°F accuracy and a temperature range of 86°F-113°F.

The infrared device is suitable for high traffic areas such as airports, malls and shopping centers. Doctors can also use it to screen patients to see if they're running a fever at a safe distance. This handheld thermal imaging camera is an affordable option when you want to upgrade from an IR thermometer.

Product Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 7.72x4.61x2.32 inches
  • Weight: 0.77lb
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Temperature Range: 86°F-113°F

5. Vikylin Scanner Kiosk

This infrared thermal device is another non-contact thermometer that's an automatic body temperature detector. The non contact thermometer scans the face for the most accurate screening results.

Since this is a kiosk scanner, people can simply stand in front of the device and the operator will be able to see their results on the screen. This makes it ideal for busy areas such as shopping centers, airports and even private doctors rooms. practitioners are able to screen patients at a safe distance.

This device has facial recognition, ambient temperature detection and human temperature detection. It comes with a stand and a large 7" 1080p HD display screen so you can see screening data clearly. Lastly, it has a high temperature warning system to alert you when someone is running a high fever.

Product Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 4 ft. stand 
  • Weight: 22.5lb
  • Warranty: 2 years free warranty
  • Temperature Range: 86°F-113°F

6. GEKKA Infrared Forehead Thermometer

The GEKKA infrared forehead thermometer is a non-contact device that's automated. This means that people can see their temperature information by standing in front of the device. The infrared device will scan the forehead of the person standing in front of it.

This device mounts onto a wall so it doesn't require you to hold it in your hand. It's perfect at detecting anyone who has a fever at a safe distance. This device is ideal to install at the entrance of companies and airports for added safety.

You can prevent anyone who could have an infection of the Covid 19 virus from entering your building because it will alert you if the person's temperature screening is higher than 99.5° F. You can see the results on the LED display.

Product Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 5.51x 3.66 inches 
  • Weight: 0.56lb
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Temperature Range: 89.6 °F-109.4 °F

7. FaceGraph Touch Free Temperature Measurement Kiosk

The FaceGraph is a touch free automatic body temperature screening kiosk. It allows people to stand in front of the screen to get information on their temperature. It's able to scan one person at a time and provide fast and effective data. Using this device is easy and safe.

To prevent anyone with a possible Covid 19 infection from entering your premises, this automated device will alert you if someone is showing signs of a high fever. What's more, measurements will be shown in under two seconds.

This thermometer is FDA approved so it's legal to use in any international airport, grocery store or restaurant. You get a 10.2" anti glare color display with an NFC/RFID reader and HD camera for the best detection of possible infections.

Lastly, this device doesn't show a temperature range but it does have a temperature error of ±0.45°F. If a person has an elevated measurement the display will show you that the person has an abnormal range.

The FaceGraph is considered the best thermometer for safe distance measurements.

Product Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 15 x 9.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Weight: 3.3lb
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Temperature Range: Temperature error of ±0.45°F
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Additional Information About Thermal Body Scanners

thermal imaging scanner for covid 19

Thermal Sensor Requirements

The FDA has recommended specifications for thermal imaging cameras that you must adhere to in the United States. This is because a skin temperature screening must be accurate to stop the spread of the Covid 19 virus and it must also not give false information.

For thermal imaging cameras the recommended FDA standard for sensors is that it must be tested and labeled consistently with a standard of IEC 80601-2-59:2017. For medical electrical equipment to screen patients they must be tested using alternative performance specifications similar to IEC.

Take a look at the following requirements for thermal imaging cameras if you're going to use them to do skin temperature screenings for your business.

Thermal Accuracy

For accurate temperature screening the thermal imaging camera must have an accuracy less than or equal to ±0.5°C (±0.9°F) and must be at the temperature range of 34-39°C (93.2-102.2°F).

Any thermal imaging camera that doesn't have these specifications can't be used to do measurements for potential Covid 19 infections. The device must be able to detect if someone has elevated measurements but the information must be accurate.

FOV Requirements

According to Research Gate A narrower FOV is recommended for thermal imaging cameras when screening people that could have elevated temperatures.

For a thermometer the FOV (Field of View) will depend on how far the person is standing from the thermal imaging device. The FOV widens when there is an increase in distance between the IR measuring device and the surface its screening.

An IR thermometer measures the average temperature over its entire FOV. But when the surface doesn't fill the FOV of the device it can give you an inaccurate measurement. This is because it will also read the temperature of the objects around the body it's screening.

Use the distance to spot ratio on the device to determine the size of its FOV. these ratios can range between 1:1 to 60:1.

Thermal imaging cameras with a distance spot ratio of 60:1 can measure smaller areas at a further distance. with a distance spot ratio of 1:1 you must measure at a closer distance for effective results.

How to Set Up a Thermal Scanner

If you want to measure skin temperature with a thermal imaging camera then you'll need to know how to set it up. You must be able to do temperature screening at a safe distance using the thermal device.

Setting Up the Environment

Firstly, you must adjust the temperatures inside the area you'll be using the thermal imaging device. It's advised by the FDA that you do your temperature screenings inside a room that's between 68-76 °F. The humidity level must be between 10% to 50%.

To prevent affecting accurate measurements you must remove all reflective objects or backgrounds around the device such as mirrors. There must be no draft in the room and you should move the thermal imaging device away from direct sunlight or radiant heat.

Avoid using your thermal imaging device in environments with strong light from halogen light bulbs to get the best results when screening.

Preparing Your Thermal Device

With some thermal imaging systems you may need a digital tool to check the calibration of infrared temperature sensor. This is known as a calibrated blackbody. Some systems don't need it but check whether your device has one.

Always switch your thermal imaging device on 30 minutes before you start screening outside your company. Ensure that the device you use has the recommended accuracy and temperature range stated by the FDA.

Before You Start Screening

non-contact thermometer

When you start screening make sure the person doesn't have anything covering his or her face such as a mask or hat. To get effective measurements the persons hair mustn't be in his or her face. Additionally, the persons face must be clean and dry.

Make sure the person doesn't have an elevated face temperature due to wearing a mask or scarf. If you're doing skin temperature measurements at your company make sure the person has waited at least 15 minutes in the screening room before getting tested.

To avoid inaccurate measurements a person must wait at least 30 minutes after doing exercises or any strenuous activity before getting screened.

Using Thermal Imaging Cameras

When using a thermal imaging camera you should only do temperature screening for one person at a time for effective data. The person should stand at a fixed distance recommended by the manufacturer and must face the thermal imaging camera directly.

The image should include the person's entire face for the best results. If the person has a higher temperature than normal you should use a different method to detect if he or she has a fever. Health officials will be able to tell you if the fever is a sign of infection.

Use these thermal imaging methods when doing temperature screening in your company, shopping center, mall or restaurant. It must be advised that thermal cameras can't detect whether someone is infected with the Covid 19 virus.

Thermal cameras are designed to tell you whether someone has a higher than average temperature that could be a sign of infection.

Final Thoughts

If used correctly thermal imaging cameras have shown that they can measure surface skin temperature effectively. This allows company owners and people who work in high traffic public areas to do screenings of people at a safe distance.

There are some limitations to using thermal imaging cameras such as only being able to scan one person at a time. This may create longer queues when screening people in public areas. However , if you want your device to provide the best data you must set it up according to FDA specifications.

Detecting whether someone has a higher than average temperature is easy using thermal cameras. These devices must become an essential part of your safety policies at your company because it could possibly save lives.

International public areas are all integrating the use of thermal imaging cameras into their infrastructure. If you're serious about the health and safety of the your employees or anyone coming into your building then pick one of the thermal imaging devices on our list.

All these devices have easy settings and provide you with the standard accuracy and temperature ranges recommended by the FDA. You don't have to come into direct contact with anyone with the devices in our reviews. So which one will you pick?

About the author 

Daniel Gray

As a digital marketing manager, Daniel is responsible planning and managing marketing campaigns at Smart Scouter. He has a masters degree from Indiana University and over 20 years of experience in the thermal imaging industry. In his spare time he likes hiking and traveling around South America.

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