Non-contact Infrared (IR) thermometers have gained widespread use during Covid19 pandemic as elevated temperature can be an indicator of infection. Commonly used IR thermometers require the device to be placed very close to the forehead (within a few centimetres) during measurement to ensure accurate reading. As a result, when it is used in a hand-held mode, the requirement of physical distancing that is considered essential for combating spread of infection is violated.
The thermometer can be mounted and temperature reading taken at a remote location to minimize physical proximity to the subject. However, besides being more costly and not easily deployable, this operational mode leads to a loss in flexibility in usage of thermometer including that height of some subjects may make it difficult for them to position themselves easily before the device. Further, elderly or persons with disability may not be able to approach the fixed thermometer at all.
To address this issue of safety of health workers and patients during temperature scanning, a new hand-held Infrared thermometer has been developed at national centre for flexible electronics, IIT Kanpur that ensures an interpersonal distance of 6ft during the measurement. The new thermometer has the additional advantage of not using a separate battery as it is mobile powered and provides a digital and cloud storage of temperature data that can be helpful in tracking of infection.