Fever is a common feature of disease
Several diseases caused by viral infections, including COVID-19, are characterized by multiple symptoms, including fever. Therefore, body temperature monitoring is a vital tool for the detection of infections such as this.
One of the most prevalent symptoms of COVID-19 is a rise in body temperature
COVID-19 cannot be diagnosed without a formal test, but it is widely accepted that the combination of the following two symptoms, could be an indication of a possible infection:
Elevated temperature due to fever
Persistent dry cough
For temperature monitoring, there are a number of disadvantages with the current methods, especially infrared forehead thermometer (1):
Allow only for single-point measurements. Symptoms are not detected if there is medicine intake (i.e. an aspirin). Offset of symptoms is after measurement.
Low accuracy due to ambient conditions or activities taken by individuals (i.e. hard work, sports).
As the accuracy is low, the threshold is usually lowered in order to filter out potential infected individuals. That might cause many false positives.
(1) Hausfater P, Zhao Y, Defrenne S, Bonnet P, Riou B. (2008) Cutaneous infrared thermometry for detecting febrile patients. Emerging infectious Diseases, August 2008.
G.Chen et al (2020): Validity of the Use of Wrist and Forehead Temperatures in Screening the General Population for COVID-19: A Prospective Real-World Study, Iranian Journal of Public Health, Vol. 49.