Elevated Temperature Screening

Frequently Asked Questions: Thermal Imaging for Elevated Skin Temperature Screening

FLIR thermal imaging cameras can be a useful, efficient tool for screening people for signs of elevated skin temperature (EST).

How to Screen for elevated body temperature

Unfortunately, not every thermal camera is appropriate to this application. Obtaining actionable data requires adequate thermal resolution and measurement accuracy, as well as the correct preparation and scanning methodology.

To help clarify the best practices for this non-contact screening option, FLIR offers these answers to frequently asked questions.

Q: Can FLIR products be used to detect a virus such as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A: No, thermal imaging cameras cannot be used to detect or diagnose an infection. However, FLIR thermal cameras are used today in public spaces such as airports and hospitals and by essential services such as manufacturing and shipping as an effective tool for measuring skin surface temperature. People who are identified as having an elevated skin temperature can then be screened by medical professionals using additional tools such as an oral thermometer.

Q: How does thermal imaging technology work?

A: FLIR thermal cameras detect heat radiation and can be used to identify the surface temperature of objects and people. With this capability, FLIR thermal cameras are commonly used as a non-contact screening tool to detect differences in skin surface temperatures and pattern changes. In fact, FLIR is registered with the US FDA to provide a variety of its thermal products to screen for elevated skin temperatures in connection with additional screening tools.

Q: How should operators use thermal cameras for skin temperature screening?

A: Here are several tips to ensure optimal measurement performance from a FLIR thermal camera:

  • Camera operators should screen people one at a time to look for temperature anomalies.
  • Camera operators should measure temperature at the tear duct (inner canthus) as this location provides the closest temperature correlation to human core body temperature.
  • A camera operator who detects elevated skin temperature in a person being screened should request that such individual be screened using a device designed specifically for measuring body temperature, such as a thermometer.

Q: What Fixed Mount products does FLIR offer for EBT screening?

A: The following FLIR thermal cameras are registered by the US Food and Drug Administration to detect differences in skin surface temperatures:

Fixed-Mount Thermal Cameras

Q: What is Screening mode?

A: Certain FLIR cameras include a Screening mode that provides an alarm when an object or person is detected to have an elevated temperature compared against a sampled average temperature value. Screening mode is not an absolute temperature measurement. Activating the Screening mode will turn on a measurement box and screening data on the camera’s screen that includes:

  • Sampled Average Temperature
  • Alarm Temperature
  • Measured Temperature

In Screening mode, the operator saves the skin temperature data from ten people at the testing location to set the Sampled Average Temperature.  An Alarm Temperature is then set by the operator by applying a delta, which is typically between 1°C and 3°C, resulting in an alarm temperature that’s 1°C-3°C greater than the Sampled Average Temperature. Each person is then screened individually, and their Measured Temperature is compared against the Alarm Temperature.

The Sampled Average Temperature should be updated through the screening operation period. By doing this, Screening mode helps account for many potential variations during screening throughout the day, including fluctuations in average person temperatures due to natural environmental changes, like ambient temperature changes. Screening mode reduces the need for absolute accuracy throughout the day and even self-calibrates to remove potential errors in absolute accuracy from camera to camera.

Flir cameras that offer screening mode are highly stable at room temperature, which makes them well suited for this application.

The FLIR A320 Tempscreen Camera offers Screening mode.

Q: How close do you need to be to detect someone with an elevated temperature?

A: In order to obtain a good temperature reading, it is recommended that the intended target be as close to the camera as possible (with respect to the camera’s minimum focus distance). The location of the camera may require a different lens. For instance, if the operator wanted to place the camera at a significant distance, FLIR may recommend a telephoto lens. Therefore, distance to the target is an important consideration, as is focus.

It is important that the application be set up so that all intended targets are in focus during the screening process, thereby creating a good image. In addition to focus, a good image is dependent on several additional functions and settings, with certain functions and settings affecting the image more than others. Functions and settings that the operator needs to set and/or adjust include the following:

  • Adjust the infrared camera focus
  • Adjust the infrared image (automatically or manually)
  • Select a suitable temperature range
  • Select a suitable color palette
  • Change the measurement parameters
  • Perform a non-uniformity correction (NUC)

Q: How accurate are the thermal cameras?

A: FLIR thermal cameras “see” or detect the temperature differences with temperature measurements between -20°C and 2,000°C (-4°F—3,632°F). The standard FLIR product accuracy specification of ±2°C or 2% of the temperature reading at 30°C (86°F) ambient environment applies to all temperature ranges it measures and for the multiple applications for which it can be used.

FLIR thermal camera with Screening mode can achieve accuracies of ±0.5°C (0.9°F) at 37°C (98.6°F). This can be achieved by using the camera in a stable ambient environment, only looking at humans, and updating the reference samples according to the population being screened.

It’s important to note there are many factors that can affect the accuracy of thermal cameras, such as focus, distance, the emissivity* of the target, the ambient environment, and the speed at which the temperatures are acquired. 

*A target’s emissivity is its ability to emit thermal radiation. For example, ceramic mugs, clothing, and even human skin have high emissivity, while polished metals have low emissivity.

Q: Do I need to use a black body for EST screening?

A: There are advantages and disadvantages to using a black body when screening for elevated skin temperatures. Including a black body in the camera’s field of view can improve the system’s performance in this application. FLIR thermal cameras support this configuration.

However, FLIR offers thermal cameras with temperature screening mode that don’t require the use of a black body. The handheld versions of these products are all inclusive, minimizing points of failure and maximizing flexibility and mobility. Screening mode also helps account for many potential variations during screening throughout the day, including fluctuations in an individual’s temperature due to natural environmental changes. Screening mode reduces variations in absolute accuracy throughout the day and even accounts for any potential variation in absolute accuracy from camera to camera.

In contrast, using a black body for elevated skin temperature screenings can create challenges. The first is the cost and complexity of including an additional piece of hardware in the solution. Black body integration into a system makes mounting, powering, and ultimately maintaining it more complex. Such an addition also introduces another potential point of failure into the overall solution.

Proper focus on the black body is essential to getting accurate measurements. For a black body to be effective, it must be mounted in the same plane as the person being screened. A black body that is significantly closer or farther than the person being screened will be out of focus and not function as an accurate reference source.

If ultimately the screening solution includes the use of a black body, FLIR recommends following these requirements, as set forth in ISO/TR 13154:2017:

  • The camera of the screening thermograph should be positioned perpendicular, both horizontally and vertically, to the face of the individual being screened so that the inner corner of both eyes can be imaged simultaneously.
  • The individual being screened and the external temperature reference source should be in the correct position and orientation relative to the camera for proper focal distance, depth of field and image capture. There should be a means of ensuring that the individual being screened is in this proper position, e.g. a stool, marks on the floor. Consideration should be given to individuals in wheelchairs.
  • The backdrop behind the individual being screened and, when used, side screens should be thermally uniform, high emissivity (non-reflective in the IR spectrum) and light in color (visible spectrum).
  • The operator should be positioned with a clear visual field of the individual being screened and the display of the screening thermograph. The operator may need to intervene to correct the individual’s position. The operator should also be positioned in such a way as to divert individuals to the secondary screening area when required.
  • Operators should be assessed as to their ability to discern the colors of the rainbow scale of the screening thermograph.

Q: Do people using FLIR cameras need to be certified/trained to understand how to interpret the images and data?

A: FLIR recommends that thermal camera operators obtain at a minimum Level 1 thermal imaging certification through certified thermography courses such as the Infrared Training Center. This is not a medical training or medical certification, but it provides a baseline understanding in thermography. The Infrared Training Center offers more advanced training.

Q: Can you name some companies, organizations, and airports that have purchased your products?

A: While we cannot name specific customers or comment on current sales, we can say that our thermal cameras are used by customers at ports of entries and high-traffic locations in several countries, including the US, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines, and Malaysia.

Q: How long has FLIR been selling thermal cameras and non-contact thermometers for elevated skin temperature screening?

A: FLIR noted an increase in the use of thermal cameras for skin temperature screening during the SARS outbreak in 2003.

Source: FLIR.com

FLIR A400/A700 Thermal Imaging Camera

FLIR Launches Smart Thermal Sensor Solution for Industrial Monitoring and Elevated Skin Temperature Screening

Initial Shipments of New FLIR A400/A700 Thermal Sensor Solution to be Prioritized for Entities Working to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19 Virus

ARLINGTON, Va.–OEMCameras.com–Apr. 1, 2020 

FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) today announced the FLIR A400/A700 Thermal Smart Sensor and Thermal Image Streaming fixed camera solutions for monitoring equipment, production lines, critical infrastructure, and screening for elevated skin temperatures. These highly configurable smart camera systems provide accurate, non-contact temperature monitoring across a wide range of disciplines: manufacturing process control, product development, emissions monitoring, waste management, facilities maintenance, and Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) improvements. The FLIR A400/A700 Thermal Smart Sensor solution initially will be prioritized for those responding to COVID-19. For all applications, the series offers multi-image streaming, edge computing, and Wi-Fi connectivity to help speed data flow and enable faster decisions, improving productivity and safety for professionals.

Initial shipments of the new FLIR A400/A700 Thermal Sensor Solution for industrial monitoring and elevated skin temperature screening to be prioritized for entities working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 virus. (Photo: Business Wire)

FLIR designed the A400/A700 cameras with two configurations to better meet application-specific needs. The Thermal Smart Sensor configuration, recommended for measuring elevated skin temperatures, incorporates advanced measurement tools and alarms with edge computing to enable faster critical decisions. The Image Streaming configuration provides multiple thermal streaming capabilities to help optimize process control, improve quality assurance, or identify potential failures that could shut down a production line.

Initial shipments of the new FLIR A400/A700 Thermal Sensor Solution for industrial monitoring and elevated skin temperature screening to be prioritized for entities working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 virus.
FLIR A400/A700 Thermal Smart Sensor and Thermal Image Streaming
fixed camera solutions

Users design their systems by choosing either the Smart Sensor or Imaging Streaming configurations, selecting either the A400 or A700 camera body based on the resolutions they need, and then adding lenses and a range of optional features to fit their application.

“For more than 40 years, FLIR thermal imaging has provided technologies for professionals to improve not only their capabilities, but also their safety on the job,” says Jim Cannon, President and CEO at FLIR. “As the world works together to face the global COVID-19 pandemic, given the need for this technology, FLIR will prioritize initial deliveries of this new A-series camera to professionals using it in elevated skin temperature screening as an adjunct to other elevated body temperature screening tools to help to fight the spread of the virus.”

Also, FLIR currently is in beta testing for an automated elevated skin temperature screening software solution that is fully integrated with its United States Food and Drug Administration-certified thermal cameras. The solution is designed to rapidly increase the accuracy, ease-of-use, and speed of existing screening procedures. FLIR will share an announcement about its solution in Q2 2020.

FLIR A400/A700 Thermal Smart Sensor and Thermal Image Streaming cameras are available for purchase today globally from FLIR distributor partners.
To learn more, please visit www.oemcameras.com/A400-A700-Series.

About FLIR Systems, Inc.

Founded in 1978, FLIR Systems is a world-leading industrial technology company focused on intelligent sensing solutions for defense, industrial, and commercial applications. FLIR Systems’ vision is to be “The World’s Sixth Sense,” creating technologies to help professionals make more informed decisions that save lives and livelihoods.

For more information, visit our website at: www.oemcameras.com.

Source: FLIR

Elevated Temperature Screening

Thermal Imaging for Detecting Elevated Body Temperature

Can thermal cameras be used to detect a virus or an infection?


The quick answer to this question is no, but thermal imaging cameras can be used to detect Elevated Body Temperature. FLIR thermal cameras have a long history of being used in public spaces—such as airports, train terminals, businesses, factories, and concerts—as an effective tool to measure skin surface temperature and identify individuals with Elevated Body Temperature (EBT).

In light of the global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which is now officially a pandemic, society is deeply concerned about the spread of infection and seeking tools to help slow and ultimately stop the spread of the virus. Although no thermal cameras can detect or diagnose the coronavirus, FLIR cameras can be used as an adjunct to other body temperature screening tools for detecting elevated skin temperature in high-traffic public places through quick individual screening.

If the temperature of the skin in key areas (especially the corner of the eye and forehead) is above average temperature, then the individual may be selected for additional screening. Identifying individuals with EBT, who should then be further screened with virus-specific diagnostic tests, can help reduce or dramatically slow the spread of viruses and infections.  

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The thermal camera must be able to image the inner corner (tearduct) of the eye when screening for EBT. Have subjects remove glasses or any other eye obstructions before screening. 

Using thermal cameras, officials can be more discrete, efficient, and effective in identifying individuals that need further screening with virus-specific tests. A variety of institutions, including transportation agencies, businesses, factories, and first responders are using thermal screening as an EBT detection method and as part of employee health and screening (EH&S).

Airports in particular are actively employing FLIR thermal cameras as part of their screening measures for passengers and flight crews. The screening procedures implemented at airports and in other public places are just the first step when it comes to detecting a possible infection: it’s a quick way to screen for anyone who might be sick, and must always be followed up with further screening before authorities decide to quarantine a person.

Elevated Temperature Screening

When screening for EBT with a FLIR thermal camera, it’s important to screen one person at a time, standing no more than 1-2 meters away from the camera. 

What FLIR cameras are used for thermal screening?

While governments outside the United States may choose from many different cameras, FLIR has a 510(k) filing (K033967) with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for select camera models for use as an adjunct to other body temperature screening tools to detect differences in skin surface temperatures. OEMCameras.com recommends a variety of FLIR Cameras.

For more information about ordering FLIR cameras for temperature screening purposes in the United States, please call: 1-888-919-2263. Outside the United States: +1-845-343-4077.

Source: FLIR.com

FLIR Expands Scion Thermal Monocular Series with Longer Range Detection

FLIR is expanding the popular FLIR Scion Outdoor Thermal Monocular (OTM) and Professional Thermal Monocular (PTM) series with new 25mm lens or 36mm lens variants for longer range detection.

Coupled with FLIR’s high-performance Boson® thermal core, the new 770m lens extends viewing capabilities up to 700 meters and the 1120m lens offers observation up to 1,000 meters. The increased range helps users quickly detect objects at extreme lengths with smooth, unwavering vision in challenging environments and the new manual focus feature customizes users viewing preference.

Packed with more features than any other FLIR commercial thermal handheld, Scion PTM and OTM are available with a 9 hertz or a 60 hertz refresh rate and include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® connectivity; 2 gigabytes of internal storage and a microSD card slot to record both geotagged video or still images; a rugged IP67-rated housing; picture-in-picture zoom; and global positioning system (GPS) functionality. Additionally, a new Lock Span Mode creates highly detailed images by eliminating unwanted temperature detection with a locked temperature range.

Source: FLIR

FLIR Introduces M300 Series Marine Cameras

M300 Series Combines Thermal and High-Definition Visible Imaging to Offer Professional Mariners, First Responders, and Recreational Boaters Increased Situational Awareness and Safer Navigation

ARLINGTON, Va., September 23, 2019 – FLIR Systems (NASDAQ: FLIR) today announced the FLIR M300 Series, a new generation of maritime thermal cameras delivering advanced awareness-enhancing technologies, safer navigation, and seamless integration with onboard boat systems. FLIR M300 Series cameras are designed for the most demanding professional mariners and first responders who operate in the harshest marine environments.

The successor to FLIR’s industry-leading M-Series of maritime cameras, the next generation M300 Series consists of five models featuring rugged and robust new pan and tilt housings – four models with the FLIR BosonTM resolution thermal camera cores, plus a visible-only, high-definition (HD) model. The series is highlighted by two dual sensor models, the M364C and M364C LR, which offer mariners greater awareness via FLIR’s patented Color Thermal VisionTM (CTV) technology. This proprietary multispectral imaging technology for the FLIR M300 Series and FLIR’s Raymarine Axiom® line of navigation displays blends thermal and high-definition visible color video for enhanced identification of buoys, vessels, and other targets at night.

The M300 Series integrates with the latest-generation marine navigation displays, including FLIR’s award-winning Raymarine Axiom family of multifunction displays.

“Our FLIR M300 Series cameras employ advanced sensing and imaging technologies so first responders, commercial mariners, and recreational boaters can navigate safer in limited visibility,” said Travis Merrill, President of the Commercial Business Unit at FLIR. “These professional-grade marine cameras offer industry-leading performance and deep integration with Raymarine Axiom navigation displays to bring mariners a new level of situational awareness.”

The FLIR M300 Series range from $6,495 to $29,495 USD and are available now through FLIR’s network of maritime dealers and retailers.

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FLIR M300 Series thermal imaging cameras for professional mariners and first responders provide safer navigation and increased situational awareness

About FLIR Systems

Founded in 1978, FLIR Systems is a world-leading industrial technology company focused on intelligent sensing solutions for defense, industrial and commercial applications. FLIR Systems’ vision is to be “The World’s Sixth Sense”, creating technologies to help professionals make more informed decisions that save lives and livelihoods. For more information, please visit flir.com and follow @flir.

Source: FLIR