Temperature Measurement Devices

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    Use this forum page for requests for help, comments around Tympanic, thermal and any other issues around temperature measuring devices.. good or bad 🙂


    We had just standardised to the PRO6000 tympanic after poor results with a previous non-contact device.

    The tympanic company could not supply at short notice in response to loss/damaged PRO 6000 stock ( which seemed to disappear in large numbers!), and so due to lack of availability we have ended up with a non-contact JXB182 thermometer which procurement sourced right across the Trust. Has anyone else has a similar experience?

    Eddie Whelan


    I suspect the scarcity of tympanics is due to all governments stock piling them and the fact that factories in the far east have been effectively shut since the pandemic started (I know, this is a massive, sweeping, generalised statement!).

    As a Trust, we are looking at standardising our tympanics (most likely to the PRO6000s). However, as an interim measure and due to the recent attainability issues with tympanics, we have had to purchase 100 x BK8005 non contact infrared thermometers from Bokang Instruments Co. Ltd. These are being used (as an interim measure) by our community staff until we start receiving new tympanics. In the past, we have only used non contact thermometers on patients that do not like to be touched (predominantly on Mental Health wards).

    With my physics hat on (and in my opinion), surface or body thermograhpy is not equivalent to tympanic thermometery. For a reliable fever detection, the inner canthus of the eye is the only site (on the face) that you will get a reliable temperature measurement from. There are ISO guidelines regarding infrared ‘thermography’, in addition to an editorial paper (http://www.uhlen.at/thermology-international/data/pdf/300105.pdf) that will explain in more detail. This will give you an idea of the inaccuracies when using non contact thermometery.

    Are you going to return to the tympanics after the supply issue for the PRO6000s are resolved?

    Kerry Palmer LPT

    HI, we’ve been having real issues with thermometry equipment across the board. The Braun Pro 6000 is our standardised product but we cant get our hands on any due to short supply. As an alternative, we purchased non contact infrared thermography equipment and when tested against the tympanics they are consistantly showing upto a 1 degree c difference (usually a low reading), so they ones we have purchased are pretty much useless. We have suggested out Community services (DN’s/Integrated Care) use 3M TempaDot disposables in the interim until we can obtain tympanics.

    Eddie, thanks for the info you have attached I will have a read though the ISO guidelines and the link.

    Given the inaccuracies with the infrared devices and the shortage of tympanics, are there any other alternatives available for use? Out trust is Community Hospitals, Community Services, Adult MH, CAMHS, Childrens Services, LD Services and MHSOP so we need multiple additional devices to be able to effectively deliver our services.

    Can we use the Braun thermoscan IRT6020/IRT6520. On the instructions is says for domestic use only. Are they reliable enough for professional use?

    thanks in advance,

    Eddie Whelan


    The Braun Thermoscan 5s (and many others) are the ones we hope to move away from. They have been very reliable for DNs, but we were buying in 50 every 3 months (ish!) for replacements or for new starters (list price approx. £40 each, but we got them for £27 each from Henry Schein). Please e-mail me on eddie.whelan at merseycare.nhs.uk, as I know of a supplier that might have some PRO6000s being delivered shortly…

    B. Deacon

    Hi All

    We are more than 4 months since Paul started this Forum Topic and as a Trust we are still struggling with thermometers. We have standardised for sometime on the Pro6000’s and like all struggled to get stocks and still can’t seem to get them. We purchased some Genius 3’s (although expensive) but they seemed fail at same rate as the Pro6000’s, 0.6+ variance to the Pro6000 and staff do not like them to use, uncomfortable to hold and and uncomfortable for patient. My EMBE Colleagues struggled with calibration on the Genius 3 as well, so how do we give confidence when we don’t have much ourselves. Our eObs process relies on the obs being sent via the VSM direct which without thermometer is proving very challenging.

    Hillrom defends the Pro6000, blaming our cleaning product is killing them. we lose them quickly or fail even faster.

    Anyone found a solution yet, received some Pro6000’s or another reliable product?


    We are still using the JXB 182 supplied during the initial Covid outbreak alongside the current PRO6000 stock. I am being approached regularly by staff about the accuracy of the non-contact thermometer but on contacting EBME was sent the manual and told “this states CE certification and quoted accuracy. EBME unable to test or verify these devices in house.” Has anyone else had the same issues or are planning to withdraw the non-contact kit if the supply of the PRO6000 is improved?

    Kerry Palmer LPT

    Hi All, a further update from my previous comment. We have purchased some Genius 3’s and have repeated engineer call outs because of incorrect readings – usually low. To date we have tested 3 different types of infrared technology, all of which need to be located in the room with a patient 30 minutes prior to taking a reading to ensure any kind of accuracy so we arent able to use these in community services / patients homes and the wards that have them currently dont like them because they are temperamental. We have also just purchased some Zeal thermometers & I have yet to see how our services get on with them. As a contingency we are purchasing the TempaDot disposable thermometers & these are issued to all of our locations. They appear to read accurately but they dont give an instant result (60 seconds to take a reading). If anyone has a non contact thermometer they could recommend that would be great.
    thanks all.

    Eddie Whelan

    Hi all,

    B. Deacon:
    What cleaning products are you currently using on your Pro 6000s? Are you using what is recommended in the user manual?

    Jo Gregory:
    Some EBMEs (& private companies) are using ‘black body irradiators’ to test their non-contact thermometers at a spot temperature and then extrapolating the result. It’s not the best way of checking non-contact temperatures (i.e. the extrapolating part), but it is a starting point for some EBMEs. It’s cheap and cheerful, but your EBME might not rate this approach!

    Moreover, I’m currently looking at new (Chinese made) non contact and tympanic thermometer ‘in one’ (the T-110). It’s sold by Marsden (https://www.marsden-weighing.co.uk/index.php/ear-forehead-thermometer.html) and it ticks all the right legislation boxes. However, when I tried the Pro 6000 probe tip covers we use, they just kept dropping off. I’m in contact with Marsden (just now) and finding out which tip covers they would recommend and what calibrators they use to check the readings across the patient temperature range (e.g. for Pro 6000s it’s 36.0, 38.5 and 40.0 degree C). I’ll update when I have further information.

    Kerry Palmer:
    From all the user manuals I’ve read, I haven’t found one manual that states that non-contacts may be used straight away without a ‘climatisation period’ (usually between 20 to 30 minutes for accurate temperature readings). For the Acutes, this shouldn’t be a problem, however, for the Community, in my opinion, non contacts should be used only as a guide temperature because of their potential errors e.g. has to be parallel with forehead at a specific distance, wrinkles, makeup, sweat, hair, user hand movement, environmental conditions, etc. Tympanic thermometers don’t have to consider most of these errors.

    If you are looking at the Zeal ACT8000s tympanic thermometers (clinical use/ medical device), remember that these might take 30 minutes to warmup when cold.

    FYI (all)
    Below is a list of all the tympanic thermometers we currently use. We are an amalgamated and amalgamating (many times & with different partners – on going process), ever changing Community and Mental Health Trust which we are still trying to standardise our medical devices. From a patient safety/ litigation view point, I’m getting rid of all of the ‘Home use’ devices (obviously can’t do this with the current lack of availability of tympanic thermometers {TTs}).

    Manufacturer Model TTs recommended location usage from manual
    GH Zeal Ltd ACT8000 Clinical Use **When cold requires 30 mins to warm up
    Ningbo Huahui Medical Instruments Co., Ltd. ET-100A Home use **No serial number = litigation issues
    Omron Ltd Gentle Temp 510 Home use
    MSR Ltd ST613CNP Home use
    Merlin Medical Ltd TH809 Clinical Use **If held to long, might give higher readings!
    Braun GmbH Thermoscan 5 Home use
    Welch Allyn International Ltd Thermoscan Pro 4000 Clinical use, ceased production
    Welch Allyn International Ltd Thermoscan Pro 6000 Clinical use

    In lockdown 1, I decided to read all user manuals of all commonly used devices that were on our medical device asset database. I know this sounds sad, but I am quite normal really! I summarised the lists by clinical or home use. Clinical use means it is a medical device by definition and may be used by clinicians/ Trusts. Home use means it is designed for patient use and not clinicians. If anyone would like the product of my endeavours, I have lists for NIBP (upper arm/ wrist), BP sphygmomanometers (Pocket/ Desk/ Stand/ Wall), Vital signs monitors, Tympanic thermometers, Probe thermometers (Axillary), IR non-contact thermometers, Pulse oximeters (Finger/ Handheld/ Bedside), Ear Irrigators, and Suction machines.

    After I read all those exhilarating user manuals and finished my equipment lists, I decided that life would be so much more pleasant if I just gave up hope!

    Hope you are all enjoying working from home and I apologise for my lengthy reply…

    All the best.


    After I read all those exhilarating user manuals and finished my equipment lists, I decided that life would be so much more pleasant if I just gave up hope!

    Thank you for a much needed giggle! I needed that… I’m near the precipice of hopelessness myself right now, good to know I am not alone!

    Elizabeth Showell

    Hi All. Similar problems as above comments with supply issues of our preferred Tympanic Braun Pro 6000 and issues with the Genius 3’s being used by our Community staff. Has anyone tried the Welch Allyn Sure Temp Plus 690 for axilla temperature readings, specifically in community settings? We already use it for Paediatrics but looking at options for Community staff. Thanks.

    Eddie Whelan


    My Community side of our Trust has not tried axilla thermometry and we only use them in clinical settings (e.g. Treatment Rooms, Walk in Centres, etc.). I would be very interested in your community staff’s comments on how they fare with axilla thermometry, if you go down this route.

    Stay safe…

    Eddie Whelan

    Hi JoGregory,

    Thank you for your nice reply.

    I’m near the precipice of hopelessness myself right now, good to know I am not alone!

    On this note, may I remind of an old governmental NHS (pre-COVID) saying “Don’t forget we’ve never had it so good!”

    I really think we need an MDSO giggle forum!

    PS: No trees were harmed in the posting of this message. However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

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