FDA Study To Compare IR Thermometers & Cameras in Fever Screening

Image Courtesy FLIT, Inc.
Image Courtesy FLIR, Inc.

Rockville, MD, USA  —  The USA’s Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a “Collaborative Study of Non-Contact Infrared Thermometers (NCITs)* and Thermographic Cameras** for Fever Screening”

Solicitation Number: FDA-SOL-1152694
Added: Aug 07, 2015 8:28 am
Notice Type: Combined Synopsis/Solicitation
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Office: Food and Drug Administration
Location: Office of Acquisitions and Grants Services – Rockville

Web Link: https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=4df8b0a61414177a869a39da16b294a6&tab=core&_cview=0

“The FDA and Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) will collaborate in the study of the accuracy and effectiveness of NCIT and IR Cameras in the detection of fever. They will use the WRAMC clinics to recruit patients for the studies. FDA will provide the IR devices used in this study and provide training for investigators working with the patients, and any special backdrops, etc. needed for the study.”

Contracting Office Address:

5630 Fishers Lane, Room 2129
Rockville, Maryland 20857-0001
United States

Primary Point of Contact.:
Sean Wybenga
Phone: 240-402-7629

Secondary Point of Contact:
Lisa K. Yaw,
Contracts Specialist
Phone: 2404024018
* Non-Contact Infrared Thermometers (NCITs)” refers to handheld, battery-powered radiation thermometers (Note that both an IEC Standard and a proposed ASTM standard have been published as guides to more uniform terminology is this technology. The names and designation for these devices also includes: “radiation pyrometer”, “infrared thermometer”, “infrared pyrometer”,”spot radiometer”, “ear thermometer”, and “spectral band pyrometer”.)

** “Thermographic Cameras” presumably refers to quantitative Infrared Thermal Imaging Cameras or Devices, that is, those that are designed to measure temperature.



We certainly wish the FDA and WRAMC well in the conduct of this study and expect that they will be as thorough and professional as they often are.

FYI, this comes as a serious USA effort to look into medical-related use of quantitative Thermal Infrared Imaging equipment since the 1970s.

A more recent need was the onset of the first highly publicized effort in this area in 2003 when the SARS Epidemic struck and many people perished. There were some efforts in the USA and Canada, but they seemed neither well-planned nor executed, and could not be correctly deemed as scientific. Since then there has been Bird Flu and the H1N1 virus scares…and deaths.

However, in 2010, the USA’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) performed a small study showing efficacy of some equipment on the commercial market in detecting human fever conditions.

The SARS incident, and subsequent similar events, did prompt efforts to develop standards for Thermal Infrared Imaging devices and practices to provide capable equipment and operator training in such use. The experience in Singapore and subsequent Chinese report from 2003 on detecting 21 cases of SARS at transit locations were significant and helped spur the international standards effort.