About ten years ago, a father in France wanted to take his baby’s temperature, but didn’t want to wake his child. From this experience arose the company Visiomed and the ThermoFlash non-contact thermometer. The company displayed their latest version of the product at CES 2015. The pistol-shaped device is easy to use; just aim it at the temporal artery on the side of the subject’s head at distance of about two inches and pull the trigger. In a second or less, you get an accurate reading within 0.2 degrees Celsius. That’s about one-third of a degree in Fahrenheit.

The device maintains this accuracy in spite of changing room temperature. As a result, it is suitable for clinical use both indoors and outside in field conditions.

The fact that no contact is required is an important feature, especially when dealing with infectious diseases. This is exactly the situation faced by healthcare workers who are fighting Ebola in Africa. They do not risk transmitting the disease when using the device, and they do not need to disinfect it between uses which speeds up screening and diagnosis efforts. The company has provided thousands of the ThermoFlash units to the World Health Organization and other groups. This helps the workers track the outbreaks of the disease, as fever is one of the important diagnostic features to monitor.