With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, screening body temperature in public places has become the new normal. Be it the supermarket or bank, contactless fever screening devices that use thermal imaging technology is the norm. And zero contact thermal imaging devices like Feevr have proved to be quite effective and you can click here to learn more.
The use of thermal imaging or cameras for screening and detecting individuals with elevated body temperature in a crowded area is of utmost importance in the present world. With medical applications, like the one stated above, it has become very easy to detect higher body temperatures in people that might occur due to a variety of reasons. It is very important to screen the body temperature so that persons with fever can be singled out from masses easily, mostly to avoid the spread of contagious viral diseases like the novel coronavirus infection that has shaken the present world completely.
Fever detection during the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic
In recent times, with the growing global pandemic crisis, different organizations are monitoring how people are entering different public places like airports, hospitals, etc. during the outbreak.
One of the most evident symptoms of COVID-19, like many other viral infections, is fever; and thermal scanners can help to easily identify that.
Different organizations have resorted to adopting thermal imaging at their workplace to screen their employees on a daily basis. The method is fast, easy, and can be done remotely. In the case of handheld thermometers, the person checking the potentially affected ones also stands a chance of getting infected. But that is not the case when it comes to thermal imaging devices. These are designed to be operated by individuals from a safe distance apart.
No additional information about the nature of infection can be found from the thermal imaging methods. But soon more business houses plan to install thermal imaging devices on their premises that see a large number of workers frequenting it daily. This way it will be easier for them to identify employees with fever then single them out as necessary, and also implement precautionary measures for the greater welfare. Of course, it is important to remember that fever is one of the symptoms when it comes to the coronavirus infection, and fever detection is just a small step to avoid its transmission.
Does that mean that the thermal cameras can also detect the coronavirus?
If you are wondering whether the thermal cameras can detect a virus or not, then the answer is a big NO.
It is important to note here that these cameras cannot detect the coronavirus; this equipment can only be used to determine elevated body temperatures in people. To detect the presence of the novel virus, there are different sets of tests that only the designated centers can carry out.
So, in recent times with the outbreak of the global pandemic COVID-19, thermal cameras are only being used to help in detecting fever. Essentially, thermal imaging can only work as an effective tool to help slow down and finally stop the spread of the coronavirus by identifying the potentially affected individuals. For example, in case the temperature of certain areas of the body like the corner of the eyes and forehead is higher than the average temperature, then those individuals can be called out for additional testing. They will then be screened using a coronavirus-specific test to determine the cause of their fever and an appropriate course of treatment will be administered.
Where are thermal cameras mainly used?
However, it is indeed interesting to note that using these thermal imaging devices is not a recent thing; in the earlier days, vets used them frequently. Nowadays, thermal cameras can be found in border crossing areas like ports and airports and are operated by trained professionals. And those who are detected with elevated body temperatures are forwarded to designated medical staff for further investigation.
Particularly, the airports are extensively using thermal imaging cameras to screen their passengers as well as crew members before and after a flight. A series of stringent screenings are followed by the authorities before they place an affected individual in quarantine. This protocol is set with the aim of stopping the spread of coronavirus infection to the masses.
With the passing days and lockdown relaxations, as the number of people traveling internationally increases, it is indeed quite difficult to screen everyone individually. That is the reason why these thermal imaging devices are so useful in fever detection in crowds; besides, they can be used remotely for fever detection.
How do thermal imaging cameras work?
The working of the thermal camera to detect higher temperature from among the mass is pretty simple. Thermal imaging devices operate by converting the energy emanated from the surface of the skin to a two-dimensional image with different temperatures being indicated through different colors in the picture. The camera is calibrated in such a way that it would be easy for the equipment to detect unusual body temperatures, record the same, and even help identify the individuals who test positive with fever. The devices can also be programmed to give audio and visual warnings if necessary.
Advantages of using the thermal camera for fever detection
There are many benefits of using thermal cameras for detecting higher temperatures. You will get accurate assessments within a short span of time. This is extra important in checking the spread of the viral infection because the shorter the contact time between the affected and the others who are not, the lesser will be the probability of the spread of the disease in the crowd.
In recent times, with the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the technology of thermal scanning and the cameras have found extensive use. Drones equipped with the thermal detectors have also been used to find out potential COVID-19 cases and monitor the movement. Different thermal imaging devices are now being put to use, each with their own potentials, to protect people during this pandemic and prevent further damage to mankind.