Within the current emergency situation caused by COVID-19, we are witnessing an exponential growth in body temperature measurement requirements at the gates of public and private structures, with the aim of identifying any alteration states, and therefore being able to perform a summary skimming between subjects at risk and not.
Consequently, IR thermometers and thermal imaging cameras of various types and qualities, are rapidly spreading on the market.
How many times have we have dealt with an electronic thermometer and doubted the reliability of its detection?
The accuracy of a thermometer can depend on the temperature of the operator's hand, on any incorrect pointing, but above all on:
- the quality of the thermometer itself
- the temperature of the environment in which the measurement is carried out
- the quality and frequency of its calibration
Is the Infrared Thermometer reliable?
The digital thermometer remains a fundamental device for the speed with which it detects the temperature, compared to a standard thermometer of a different type.
Speed is, in general, but especially in this historical moment, a necessary requirement, given the number of measurements to be detected in a very short time.
In view of today's situation, however, an unreliable measurement is a risk that no operator can run, for reasons that are both ethical and of direct responsibility.
So what if an electronic thermometer does not work?
On the one hand, the problem might be to underestimate cases at risk and therefore cause the spread of a virus and other diseases.
On the other hand, on the contrary, the danger is:
- Overcrowding hospitals, already in great difficulty, without real need
- Prescribe unnecessary drugs and/or, in the worst cases, harmful to human health.
How to make sure it is working?
The solution to be sure that an IR thermometer is measuring correctly is the ITeR.
Professional Reliability Indicator of an Infrared Thermometer, directly on Site
The FDM R&D Team has studied an innovative solution for the scientific research, by releasing a tool capable of bringing together, in a single instrument, safety, speed and simplicity of testing.
ITeR allows the operator to always have a professional, yet portable, control instrument for infrared thermometers at hand.
This solution ensures more security in airports, hospitals and all access points to public places, where strict monitoring of people's health is necessary.
What is ITeR and how it works:
ITeR is a compact, portable and high-precision device that periodically checks, in real time, the measurement accuracy of thermometers and infrared cameras. With a temperature range from ambient to 45°, ITeR generates a reliable and constant reference over time.
Thanks to ITeR, the operator can verify, at any time, in the workplace, the operation of his measuring device, minimizing the risk of reading errors and therefore the occurrence of results that are not real.
ITeR is a smart and easy-to-use device: in fact it has no display and connects via bluetooth to the Android or iOS APP for smartphones and tablets. Through the application, it is possible to set the setpoint, receive notifications of any alarms in case of very high/very low temperature and/or anomalies.
Thanks to the PID algorithm integrated in the system, maximum stability of the source is guaranteed. The effectiveness of the use of a distributed source allows an excellent uniformity in the heat distribution.
Download full ITeR Specifications
Let us briefly explore this fundamental point.
The sensors used for an IR thermometer have a thermopile inside which converts the infrared rays into an electrical signal and therefore makes the temperature measurement available.
Due to the high dependence on the ambient temperature, there is also a reference sensor inside the case, often an NTC, which has a curve as in the following image:
The curve of the image indicates how, as the ambient temperature increases, the variability of the sensor response decreases. Specifically, in the range between 25 and 30 degrees, the resolution is increasingly lower than in the range between 10 and 20 degrees. This means that, at operating temperatures (between 20 and 30 degrees), the accuracy of the reference degrades exponentially.
For this reason, pointing the IR thermometer at a heat source at a known temperature can compensate for the error due to variation in the ambient temperature.
ITeR moves in this precise direction, offering a large surface that allows you to have a target at a known and settable temperature, in order to keep comparing the result of the infrared thermometer with the value set in ITeR.
ITeR is a device with unique features on the market.
There are, of course, instruments for calibrating IR thermometers and cameras, but these are devices that are differently positioned in terms of pricing, which calibration laboratories purchase to provide a service to third parties and which involve an investment of time and money.
ITeR, on the other hand, was created to make a quick, immediate, on-site measurement to confirm or deny the need for any calibration for the thermometer.
ITeR can be easily placed on a desk, mounted on a stand or on a wall, based on the most comfortable configuration for the operator.