Fever Tablet Thermal Sensors Examined (Melexis)

By Sean Patton, Published Oct 28, 2020, 10:06am EDT (Info+)

Fever tablet suppliers heavily rely on the accuracy and specs of medical-grade sensors, from Melexis and others, to elevate their tablet marketing and support their use.

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We spoke with Melexis and in this report, examine:

  • Who is Melexis
  • What type of sensors do they offer
  • Are Melexis sensors accurate for medical applications
  • Fever tablets with Melexis sensor test results
  • Issues with fever tablet design
  • What industries use Melexis sensors

Compare to Heimann (who we covered here) the other widely used European tablet thermal sensor supplier.

Melexis ******* ********

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Melexis *** ******** ******* ****** ******

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Low-Cost ******* **** ******

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Issues **** ***** ****** *******

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Factory ******* ***********

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Handheld *********** ****** ***********

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Comments (10)

Nice report

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What NCITs use the MLX90623 sensor?

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Melexis does not disclose every manufacturer/device use their sensors; I found one marketing example listed on a product flyer:

cosinuss° uses the Melexis MLX90632 FIR sensor in the continuously measuring clinical thermometer for children, degree°.

Cosinuss - Medical Ear Thermometer for Children

They confirmed that sensors we found in some of the tablets we tested were Melexis, but I asked what handheld NCITs we could test that use the same sensors to compare with the tablets, and they could not say.

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I will check with main application engineer

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One comment I received --

Interesting that most of the article discusses Melexis industrial/automotive sensors and it completely omits the MLX90614ESF-DCI sensor that complies with ASTM standard section 5.4 (Designation:E1965-98 (Re-approved 2009) - Standard Specification for Infrared Thermometers for Intermittent Determination of Patient Temperature. This sensor has a 5 degree FoV and the subject does have to be inches away for an accurate reading (our manual advises 6”-10”).

While the DCI version of the sensor is great, as with any type of sensor, it has to be used per and with the complete understanding of the manufacturer’s specifications. Additionally, the software components for operating the sensor and recording the temperature (which were all developed by our engineers) is also critical to the overall operation and temperature accuracy of the unit.

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completely omits the MLX90614ESF-DCI sensor that complies with ASTM standard section 5.4 (Designation:E1965-98 (Re-approved 2009) - Standard Specification for Infrared Thermometers for Intermittent Determination of Patient Temperature. This sensor has a 5 degree FoV and the subject does have to be inches away for an accurate reading (our manual advises 6”-10”).

If the subject has to be 'inches away for an accurate reading' how is that applicable to these tablets which advertise 18" or farther away readings?

The challenge is doing this accurately at farther distances, yes/no?

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The article is centered on Melexis sensors I thought so looking at any/all of the sensors/implementations provided by Melexis would seem to be fuller context.

There are kiosk manufacturers that use DCI for example and they recommend 6 to 10 inches. I am not a big fan of single-pixel IR and measuring average skin temperature. That in itself is inaccurate in my opinion.

These sensors have a large list of other deficiencies for sure. Even the DCI is a 914 variant originally designed for livestock and A/C. Having said that I need to verify the ASTM 1965 compliance. That word is often used very loosely. The ASTM 1965 should be incorporated into your test procedures maybe even, as they can essentially be conducted to self-certify.

fyi* I have several manufacturers with different sensors that have indicated they would like to be evaluated by IPVM.

It's all a little confusing and deliberately unclear. I saw today a new temperature sensor that has been deployed at Home Depot (6000 units). For employees. I saw a couple of RFPs today for Popshap. Jeez... HD link --

Kiosk News of Interest - Self-Service Kiosk & Self-Service Editor Picks

Thanks for the investigations and hard analysis John. You are doing the public (and employees) a real positive service. CEO of Marriott refers to these things "hygiene theater". I prefer science.

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There are kiosk manufacturers that use DCI for example and they recommend 6 to 10 inches.

That's like, e.g., the K3 Wall Mounted IR Temperature Gun Tested. In our testing, going up close to a unit is generally better. It is the distance and width that exacerbates the accuracy issue. For example, that's why nurses don't take temperatures by aiming a thermal sensor across a room.

Thanks for sharing the 6,000 unit one - very interesting - News | Business Wire

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The MLX90614ESF is a narrow FoV single or dual pixel sensor, not an array, which is applicable for handheld devices where you can manually select where you are measuring at a relatively short distance and have fewer external heat sources.

At 6" - 10" distance the FoV width or pixel spot size of that sensor is between 0.5" and 1". The tablets we have tested using Melexis sensors are using 50-60 degree FoV devices at 18" or more.

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Agreed. There are tablets/etc by kiosk manufacturers that use the other Melexis is what I essentially was pointing at. Article was about Melexis.

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