Lobby and entryway body temperature checks are commonplace in our pandemic-altered world. I’ve had my forehead scanned so often in the last few months, I’ve come up with a series of one-liners about “being cool.” COVID-19 is no joke, however, and a fever is one of the early indicators of someone who is virus-positive. In April, we wrote that hospitals in Taiwan and Thailand deployed iWeeCare’s Temp Pal wearable smart temperature monitoring system to patients and that the city of Nanking, China distributed the wearables to residents in self-quarantine.

NiraSkin recently announced a Nira Temp, a continuous monitoring smart thermometer. Nira Temp is compliant with FDA standards, according to the company. NiraSkin applied for and is awaiting FDA clearance to start shipping in the U.S. Nira Temp is a small, thin thermometer with Bluetooth connectivity and one-year battery life. The company will ship Nira Temp with 30 bandages. To use the Nira Temp, the wearer applies the device to the sticky side of a bandage and then places the patch directly on the skin under an arm, just below the armpit. Nira Skin says that their bandages are the best for attaching the device, but it appears in photos that any similar size bandage will work fine.

After you connect Nira Temp to an iOS or Android smartphone or other mobile device and configure it with the Nira Temp app, the wearable continuously monitors and transmits the wearer’s body temperature to the app. Users can set temperature thresholds in the app. If the wearer’s body temperature exceeds the preset temperature threshold, the system sends an alert to the wearer and up to 10 people the user sets up to receive the alert.

You can pre-order Nira Temp on the NiraSkin’s website now for $100. The company expects to begin shipping this month.

The Nira Temp system is a good idea and could help reduce the spread of COVID-19 through early fever detection. However, fever is only one symptom of COVID-19, and some people who test positive can spread the disease without showing any symptoms. The company also lists “Social Interaction With Peace of Mind” as a Nira Temp feature. A disclaimer in a F.A.Q. response states temperature is only one symptom of the disease and that people should maintain social distancing and wear masks. In spite of these disclaimers, the company web site shows multiple large, appealing photos on the product pages and an accompanying video of children walking in a large group in a school hallway and adults standing and sitting close at work and on the street, all without masks. The implication from the photos is that wearing a Nira Temp device allows you to get close to others at work, socially, and on the street with no concern. That message is incorrect and potentially dangerous.