COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
As the most demanded medical product during the COVID-19 pandemic, Infrared Thermometers are projected to reach a global market size of US$1.4 billion by 2027. This simple medical instrument available over- the-counter (OTC) is witnessing a sudden surge in demand as temperature screening and monitoring becomes more popular, prominent and even mandatory in countries worldwide. With fever being a telltale symptom of COVID-19, the beginning of the pandemic witnessed all airport authorities worldwide deploy infrared thermometer guns to screen for sick passengers. With the pandemic spreading and with most countries experiencing community spread, the practice of fever detection has become more widespread. Currently, supermarkets, shopping malls, offices and all other public spaces have begun scanning customer temperatures to identify and isolate COVID-19 patients. Use of thermometers among public health officials has also skyrocketed with governments imposing mandatory screening, contact tracing and strict quarantine for people with COVID-19 symptoms. Even consumers are stepping up their spending on medical essentials such as hand sanitizers, medical masks, gloves, vitamin supplements and thermometers. OTC purchases of thermometers have therefore spiked significantly since the start of the pandemic. Especially benefiting are infrared thermometers given their non-contact use which is valuable given the highly transmissible nature of COVID-19 via infected surfaces and physical contact. Until a vaccine is ready, temperature monitoring will be the new norm and will become as commonplace as security checks after the 9/11 attacks.
An infrared thermometer, being easy to use and accurate, is utilized for measuring temperature without physical contact and could be easily and correctly calibrated without much effort. Infrared thermometers offer more accurate and reliable results in comparison to conventional thermometers. An infrared thermometer deduces temperature from a part of thermal radiation, also referred as black-body radiation, that the object required to be measured emits. An infrared thermometer is occasionally also referred as temperature gun or non-contact thermometer due to its ability of measuring temperature through a distance; while at times the thermometer is referred as laser thermometer since a laser is utilized for aiming the thermometer. In the post COVID-19 period innovation will emerge to spur new growth opportunities. A noteworthy innovation already brought to the market is a next-generation, smart infrared thermometer developed in Taiwan integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce erroneous readings. The AI feature enables the device to measure temperatures by detecting people's faces. This reduces errors owing to interference from radiation emitted by objects held in an individual's hand being screened. Another notable innovation is the launch of non-contact forehead infrared thermometer developed by DeltaTrak. The new solution is expected to play a vital role in tackling the challenges arising from the spread of corona virus. The FDA approved device provides instant temperature readings without making any physical contact with the individual being screened. The innovative COVID-19 risk prevention solution is primarily designed to reduce cross contamination and improve safety while conducting daily preventive protection processes in large workforce environments.