The Effectiveness of using
Infrared Thermal Imaging for Fever Screening

Three Main Points

Cameras and software applications designed for industrial monitoring are being utilized for human imaging, ignoring the strict protocols that make them less sensitive to the differences in application.


The exactness of the relationship between deep body temperature and infrared thermal images of selected skin areas on the head.

  • Skin temperature underestimates true body temperature (Average 2.4⁰ F)
  • There is no completely reliable method for measuring body core temperature non-invasively
  • Inner canthus of the eye is affected by climactic conditions that do not in turn affect the core body temperature
  • Secondary screening with a basal thermometer is standard protocol

The inability to detect infected persons during early/late stages of fever development. Authorities in the U.S.A. maintain that fever screening with any method may reduce spread statistics by up to 50%


Camera quality and usage affects the outcome. Failure to follow ISO guidelines for usage is a cause of concern.

  • Too long of a distance from the camera (not enough pixels on the target area between the eyes)
  • Poor focus
  • Poor resolution
  • One person in the view only (other people and objects are artifacts)

Strict protocols, as in medical thermography, are the key to reliable and reproducible use of the technique. Proper understanding of the conditions for installation and use are essential, as are the regular testing of camera performance and training of personnel involved. The ISO standard provides many performance requirements for devices used in this application.