In the current state of the world, due to the concerns around the COVID-19 virus, even something as small as having a fever can be a reason for a lot of concern. The reason being, having a fever is one of the telltale signs of having been infected by the virus. As a result, it is important to be notified when people might have high body temperatures as that might help detect possible infected individuals. The technology that allows us to do that is called thermal imaging; what that essentially refers to is a form of cameras that measure the temperature of groups of people quickly and efficiently. One might wonder why we need technology like this and why we cannot manually do it. The simple answer is that it would be a lot riskier to measure temperature via human contact as opposed to using technology that requires no contact whatsoever. Thermal imaging cameras streamline the process of ensuring safety and make it less intrusive for everyone involved.
How do thermal imaging cameras function?
When it comes to a technology like this that makes waves in the news, it is important to learn how they work before learning about the functionality. The way the cameras measure the temperature of the human body is as follows:
- Thermal imaging cameras detect the temperature by capturing infrared light.
- To ensure precision, algorithms are used to make sure that the margin for error is +/- 0.3ºC by using a device called the “black body”.
- Facial detection used in the cameras to connect specific temperatures to specific faces and therefore, specific identities. The images that are detected can be saved by the cameras for use later.
- When the camera detects someone with a potential fever, alarm systems are in place so that it can warn people.
- The temperature itself is measured by analyzing the energy that is radiated by does. Color strips are assigned to each temperature where the color red usually represents potential fever. That is how the temperature of someone standing in front of the camera can be detected without any issues.
What are thermal imaging cameras used for?
Thermal imaging cameras are devices that can detect the temperature of human bodies without any sort of contact whatsoever. The reason it is important is that it stops the spread of the virus as nothing can get infected if there is no contact necessary. Before the pandemic, this kind of technology was used a lot in the industrial sector to identify temperature variations; it is important because it proves that this kind of technology is reliable if multi-million dollar companies used this technology in their businesses.
How that translates to the healthcare sector is that they can detect and measure human temperature without touching the patient—something which is crucial because how easily the COVID-19 virus spreads. The cameras can analyze the temperature of the human body with a high degree of precision and that can result in minimizing the number of false positives we would have otherwise.
What kind of devices use thermal imaging technology?
There are different types of thermal imaging devices that serve different purposes and are tailored for specific situations. They can be divided into two parts: Thermal imaging cameras and temperature measurement totems.
Thermal Imaging Cameras
Thermal imaging cameras detect the body temperature of people by using artificial intelligence. They have a visual and audible alarm to warn those whose body temperature might present a risk and are incredibly precise with a margin of error of just 3 degrees Celsius. These devices are controlled with a monitor by accessing through a digital platform from a computer or a mobile device. Based on the density of humans in the environment, thermal imaging cameras can be divided into multiple parts:
· High Traffic Density: These kinds of cameras are typically used in places where there is a large number of people. Theses cameras analyze people in groups of four and generate an alarm when a feverish temperature is recorded. The process through which these cameras work is automated and does not require manual input.
· Medium traffic density: These kinds of cameras are portable and they require manual input to be used.
Low traffic density: These kinds of cameras are used in areas where the amount of people is low. These kinds of devices are cheaper and are usually both portable and automated. Temperature measurement totem
These devices can be installed easily in a room and they allow people to measure their temperature by simply approaching the machine. As long as they maintain two meters of distance from the machine, the temperature can be measured easily. The margin of error for these kinds of devices is 5 degrees Celsius. The totem does not require installation and can be ready to be used as soon as it is plugged in.
What kind of companies should invest in thermal imaging devices?
Because of the lockdown and the dominance of the virus, it has become essential in crowded areas to measure the temperature of the people to ensure their safety. Since the virus is extremely contagious and carriers can be asymptomatic, devices like this will ensure that companies do not rely on possible sick individuals to show symptoms. It can be like taking a proactive step rather than taking a reactive one. As a result, they are recommended in any type of company that can afford it since it is simple and does not require any manual input. The good thing about that is that it can tell both customers and employees of issues that they might not be aware of themselves and can prevent the spread of the virus very effectively.
One thing to keep in mind regarding these kinds of devices is that they are not short-term solutions. These will be long-lasting and they can prevent future pandemics if there ever were to occur any. It is an investment that will pay off not only for the company but also for employees and customers. The easiest solution is to install a temperature detection kit by going to an engineering company that has previous experience in the sector. Most of the kits are very easy to assemble and disassemble and as a result, setting up should never be a big issue. If modifications are necessary, they can be done easily as well. So all in all, even if a cost-benefit analysis was to be done, the investment of getting a thermal imaging kit far outweighs risking the health of the employees and customers and one of the best ways to do that would be to use thermal imaging kits.