New IPVM Scientific Study Raises Alarm on COVID-19 Temperature Screening Reporting Fevers as Normal

Peer-reviewed work published in the Journal of Biomedical Optics exposes risks.

March 15, 2021 8:47 AM EDT

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BETHLEHEM, Pa., March 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A new peer-reviewed study by IPVM researchers has found that popular temperature screening devices from 7 different manufacturers systematically manipulate temperature readings, regularly reporting fever-level temperatures as normal. The study was accepted for publication in the Journal of Biomedical Optics. The study, titled "Globally Deployed COVID-19 Fever Screening Devices Using Infrared Thermographs Consistently Normalize High Readings To Afebrile Range", reveals a clear pattern of manufacturers applying adjustments to normalize human temperature readings. Per the study, "Given that these devices are utilized for sentinel detection of possible infectious disease transmission, and are now globally employed, the implications for reduced detection of febrility are a widespread false sense of security."


Conor Healy, Lead Author: "Our findings are alarming, and require immediate action. Tens of thousands of these devices are deployed across the United States, and the world – including places where the most vulnerable populations congregate – nursing homes, hospitals, and homeless shelters. And they continue to be sold today."

During the pandemic, over 200 new sellers of thermal screening devices were tracked by IPVM researchers. In comprehensive testing of over two dozen of these products, IPVM identified serious issues in design and implementation – most notable were deviations in temperature readings consistent with algorithmic adjustments, which the study sought to quantify and analyze. By publishing peer-reviewed research, IPVM provides a clear body of evidence for public response and action.

John Honovich, President, IPVM: "Sellers rushed to profit in a time of crisis, frequently without understanding or caring about how these systems actually worked or what faults they had. The public and businesses suffered from wasted spending and increased risks. This IPVM research can now be used to enforce accountability and consequences."

About IPVM

IPVM is the world's leading authority on video surveillance. Since 2008, IPVM has conducted over 900 tests and released over 6,000 reports to analyze the accuracy of manufacturers' claims and to provide its members up to date research and information.

To learn more about IPVM and read its latest reporting, visit or follow IPVM on Twitter @ipvideo.

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