IR imaging in mass screening for the containment of pandemic disease is based on detecting a febril (fever) state in individuals.
The ability to use IR affectively for this is dependent on a good understanding of the physiology and physics related to the pathology that we are trying to screen for and is not restricted to temperature measurements alone. The radiometric thermal data processed during real-time imaging must include calibrated reference sources, thermal pattern recognition and comparative analysis between individual people being screened.
A screening test should have high ‘sensitivity’ rather than ‘specificity’ and to be effective the false negative rate must be very low. To achieve this the false positive rate will be higher by necessity and so a ‘secondary’ level of screening can be implemented to bring the false positive rate to within a manageable level by the higher ‘specificity’ secondary level of screening.