Thermal imaging cameras are the latest devices businesses hope will help reopen the economy while keeping people safe from the current viral threat traversing the world. These thermal cameras are used to scan temperature from a safe distance, and if a fever is detected, the company could require further screening or deny the person entry altogether.
Thermal cameras, which measure the amount of energy an object emits relative to its surroundings, represent a potentially safer non-contact alternative to the hand-held, close-range temperature readers being used in many places. The cameras scan people as they enter through doorways or hallways and send alerts to pull aside a person for a check with a thermometer.
Intel Corp said it is evaluating thermal camera systems from several makers for use at a computer chip plant in Israel, where it is already checking employee temperatures. In the United States, meat supplier Tyson Foods said on Thursday it has purchased more than 150 infrared scanners and has installed them in four facilities that include pork plants in Iowa and Indiana and poultry plants in Arkansas and Georgia.
Drones equipped with thermal cameras were used in Wuhan, China, the original epicenter of the current crisis, to monitor movement. Now, a number of portable thermal imaging devices are currently being highlighted for their potential to protect key workers. Each has slightly different capabilities and usage models, but all ultimately aim to measure body temperature and flag possible victims of the virus by using the consequent reading.
One company is Passive Security Scan, Inc, a subsidiary of Defense Technologies Corporation (OTCMKTS: DTII). They have recently announced the addition of thermal cameras to their Passive Portal Weapons Detection Systems. There are three Passive Portal options which will allow for screening of people entering a building for weapons, weapons, and elevated body temperature or just simply for elevated body temperature.
Merrill Moses, President and CEO pf Passive Security Scan, Inc. said, “Our Passive Portal™ systems were designed long before the need for temperature control was in place. The challenges facing today’s institutions are growing and ever expanding. We are thrilled to be able to offer the only safe, radiation-free solution available on the market today. There are enough risks we face on a daily basis and we believe that reducing the radiation we come into contact with AND potential contagions… is a preventative measure we can all afford to embrace.”
Thermal camera technology came into widespread use in airports in Asia after the SARS epidemic in 2003. It was again brought to the public’s eye back in 2014 when an outbreak of Ebola was brought to the world’s attention.
One of the earliest symptoms of viral infection is fever. Thermal imaging cameras and temperature-sensing security technology can help detect individuals with raised body temperatures. When airports, train depots, hospitals or other venues use this security technology, they quickly spot individuals with a fever. The systems notify security personnel who take steps to separate those people for further screening by healthcare professionals.
There are quite a few benefits of thermal camera systems, such as:
- Allows security officers to scan large numbers of people as they walk by.
- Subjects do not need to be touched by screeners to perform scans.
- Infrared cameras can deliver skin temperature readings with very tight margins of error.
- Temperature screenings take place in real-time as subjects pass in front of the camera.
- Displays and detects critical temperature elevations in real time.
- Alerts key authorities when it identifies individuals with raised temperatures.
- Protects public health by screening for fevers caused by contagious illnesses.
- Portable: Infrared screening systems can be easily set up in most public spaces.
Thermal cameras have a long history of being used in public spaces such as airports, train terminals, businesses, factories, and concerts as an effective tool to measure skin surface temperature and identify individuals with fevers. Now, to help slow the spread of illnesses, they can be deployed at restaurants, retail stores, health clubs, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, colleges and universities, coffee shops, movie theaters, and more. Using thermal cameras, monitors can be more discrete, efficient, and effective in identifying individuals that need further screening with virus-specific tests.