A few words in defense of infrared thermometers

Published on February 17, 2017

A few words in defense of infrared thermometers

    The cold season seems to be over, but a transitional period begins, the first hikes without a cap and scarf, because "it seems to be warmer," and in one way or another the demand for infrared thermometers has increased. And with it the number of such return “by marriage” has increased: “they do not measure,” “they show 33, then 38”, etc.

    In fact: none of the returned “defective” thermometers were broken, on the contrary: all worked absolutely correctly and accurately. And, perhaps, it is appropriate to say a few words in defense.

    The problem with such thermometers probably arises much more often than it seems. Here, on Geektimes, quite a lot of different materials are devoted to infrared thermometers, or pyrometers , and the rest of the Internet seems to be hearing about them for the first time.

    By and large, all problems arise because:

    • There is no understanding how to measure
    • There is no desire to read the instructions
    • No desire to change batteries

    Funny, but true. Yesterday, for example, they brought "by marriage" another B.Well worker. If you try to reason logically, why it looks strange, then you can. All brands associated with medicine and sold in pharmacies undergo expensive certification procedures, receive GOST stamps, and to risk in such a way as to release a deliberately bad device means ruining money and business.

    In one way or another, all of them must comply with the “ Federal Law on Unity of Measurements ” in order to ensure “the needs of citizens, society and the state in obtaining objective, reliable and comparable measurement results used to protect the lives and health of citizens, environmental protection, animal and vegetable peace, defense and security of the state ".

    They are somehow regulated by the Interstate Standard " GOST 20790-93 ": INSTRUMENTS, APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT MEDICAL. There is also ASTM E1965 , dedicated to infrared thermometers and, if digging, there will be such a number of papers, documents, certificates and reporting tests and general, and for each unit separately, that "too lazy to read."

    All these documents (Example from A & D in electronic form ) are obtained by developers so that the user can take a measurement in a couple of simple steps, and here again:

    • Read instructions
    • Replace batteries if necessary.

    For example, if B.Well WF 5000 says “while holding the measurement button, slowly move the thermometer in the direction of the forehead and away from it”, this is how it should be done! And all will be well.

    How does an infrared thermometer

    Same problem. The network is full of questions, many doubt whether it is necessary or not. Basically, of course, in women's forums.

    Despite the fact that the best answer can be considered an expert answer with Mail:

    There are explanations and much more extensive: “Infrared thermometers measure the surface temperature of objects. The device optics captures the radiated, reflected and transmitted (transmitted) energy and focuses it on the detector. The electronics of the device gives the value of this energy and converts it into a digital value of temperature on the screen of the device. The laser built into the device is used only for target designation. "

    Actually, as soon as it comes to this, even more questions arise immediately. For trading on the net or in pharmacies, it would be much simpler and more logical to look something like this: “The human body, like any other physical object whose temperature is different from absolute zero, is a source of infrared radiation. The more intense the infrared radiation, the higher the temperature of the person - it is on this principle that night-vision devices work that set off the human circuit against the background of a colder environment. ”

    How does a specific infrared thermometer work?

    In the overwhelming majority of cases, “marriage” returns are from men. The anecdotal situation, which describes the process of referring to a man's instructions when everything is already broken, works. This is due to the fact that in the descriptions of this type of thermometers everything is said quite generally:

    1. Bring it to your body
    2. Click the button
    3. Measurements in seconds

    Formally, everything is as it is. But there are nuances. For example, two times in a row we were returned to Medisana FTN . Then they managed to buy one of them even before the inspection, almost every day, and there were no complaints about it.

    One we checked. The main problem was that "it shows the temperature immediately with a large variation of several degrees." Here is the result:

    This particular Medisan had to first “calibrate”, select the “place” from which the measurement would be: the forehead and the body and wait for the illumination to complete. As a result, one problem is less.

    Yesterday - B.Well with the same problem: "from 33 to 38". B.Well models are simpler in terms of settings. And if everything is done correctly , there will be no big problems either:

    At the same time, it is worth saying that one of the problems associated with minimizing the error, the producers decide themselves, even at the level of the form. With B.Well, that the Medisana is arranged so that in their hand they “sit down” correctly, and the sensor is in the right direction to the forehead, exactly:

    What may be general recommendations

    First, since this is a technology, certain conditions are required for correct reproduction. Of course, it is somewhat more difficult than putting a thermometer under the arm. However, this should not be confusing.

    For example, recommendations for correct measurement of pressure with digital tonometers: sit quietly, preferably in a relaxed state for half an hour, are perceived normally.

    But for thermometers: do not measure directly from the street, do not sit for a long time near the battery before measuring, etc. - such advice is taken with skepticism.

    Then we must understand that the normal temperature in different parts of the body is different. It is also, as it turns out, not everyone knows. You can google pictures or text materials on this account:

    Also worth considering minor differences in age:

    We also recommend that you always change batteries . This is generally a separate conversation, and also for some reason considered to be something strange. Like, I take a thermometer for 1000 - 3000 rubles, so also change the batteries?

    On the other hand, again a mirror example. Say, Accu-Chek's insulin pump works correctly only with Duracell batteries. They are much more expensive than, for example, GP. But nothing can be done! The average cost of Accu-Chek is about 100,000 rubles . Nothing is tolerated.

    How correct is it to compare and on what does a person’s life depend? From the correct operation of the infrared thermometer or from the correct operation of the insulin pump? - Ethical issues.

    No batteries

    It would be strange to assume that in the category of "smart electronics" connected to a smartphone, no one will offer anything. There is a thermometer that does not need to be charged - Croise.A . He has a FDA mark.

    It may seem inconvenient when measuring the temperature on yourself: the thermometer is connected to Jack, you need to bring it to your forehead and press a button in the application. However, to measure objects or the temperature of another person - he is fit.


    Another factor that is likely to be the reason for the return. A mercury thermometer stands at “Pharmacy 36.6” 120 rubles. Infrared - on average - from 1000. We measure the temperature not so often, and it seems that such a thermometer is needed just to quickly measure a small child. Do I have to overpay?


    I don’t know how successful our attempts to stand up and “rehabilitate” are, but the arguments are correct, but for the entire time of testing there has not been a single marriage. Anyway, we test all returns before sending to the manufacturer, but then we were lucky.

    If there is a real marriage - then, of course, everything is according to the laws / guarantees, etc. Exchange, refund and other procedures, but so far, apparently, claims have arisen for some other reason, some of which we tried to find.

    So if you had a thought, on whether to buy or not. Exactly / not exactly. Problem / not problem. With the infrared thermometers of famous brands that can be bought at the pharmacy, in most cases everything is in order, and there should be no problems.