Written by Michaela Jackson
The COVID-19 pandemic, otherwise known as the coronavirus, has been devastating our communities for months now. This virus is both serious and unprecedented, with over 1.58 million confirmed cases and 93,806 recorded deaths in the United States alone at the time of this writing. Someone infected with the virus, whether showing symptoms yet or not, could potentiallyinfect another 5 to 6 people before detection. Because of how contagious and transmittable this disease is, it is important to know how to spot symptoms and prevent further spreading, especially in places that have high foot traffic.
Although COVID-19 can come with many different symptoms, one of the most common tell-tale signs of the virus is a fever, with 83-99% of COVID-19 patients experiencing a fever at some point during their illness according to the CDC. A fever is characterized by elevated temperature in the body and can even cause brain damage, seizures, hallucinations, or death if the body’s temperature rises above 107.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 42 degrees Celsius.
Fortunately, a fever is easily detectable thanks to modern technology, even at long distances and without a thermometer. With innovative companies coming out with thermal mass fever screeners for contactless fever screening, large groups of people can be screened for elevated body temperatures to help prevent further spread of the pandemic and keep businesses in line with CDC guidelines for businesses doing their part to slow the spread of the virus.
How Important is it to Screen for Fevers?
Because of how infectious the novel coronavirus is, screening for fever symptoms is one way for communities to reopen their business safely and still protect their employees and customers. A fever is the only COVID-19 symptom that can be measured externally while still maintaining social distancing requirements.
Businesses with high foot traffic would benefit greatly from screening for elevated body temperature because they are at higher risk for an infection outbreak. Businesses like airports, subway or train stations, hospitals and other medical buildings, large corporations, military bases, government buildings, shopping centers, schools, and package fulfilment centers are places that can experience large influxes of people who could bring in the COVID-19 virus and infect other customers or employees.
One of the biggest benefits of automated fever screeners is that they offer the opportunity for screening large numbers of people without any person-to-person contact. Using old fashioned thermometers to individually screen for fevers is not only inefficient and slows down business significantly but also simply is not a viable option for businesses that experience crowds of people like an airport. This opportunity offers for both efficiency and accurate crowd control without putting employees at risk for contact with infected individuals.
During this trying time, many essential employees are too scared to come to work because of the risk of infection and bringing it home to their families. The use of a mass fever screener might help ease the minds of employees and their employers during the reopening process. Although it will not be able to rule out all infected individuals, it may help prevent some from entering a business and causing a company outbreak. A fever screener paired with other virus prevention methods like cleaning frequently touched surfaces, social distancing and wearing face masks will help to prevent the spread of the virus while allowing for some semblance of returning to normal operations.
How Do Thermal Mass Fever Screeners Work?
A thermal mass fever screener, also referred to as an IR mass fever screener, uses infrared (IR) sensors and artificial intelligence technology to locate and pinpoint human faces and measure the skin’s temperature from a distance. In this way this technology helps support social distancing while still being able to quickly screen out potentially infected individuals by measuring elevated body temperatures.
Many different features are offered with fever screeners, so it is important to pick the right one with the right features. Features included depends on the thermal screening system. Some include technology that ensures the highest accuracy possible for temperature detection such as the use of black bodies, learning algorithms and real-time calibration. Other beneficial features of a quality thermal screening system include adjustable temperature alarm thresholds, powerful data analysis software, and high-resolution image capabilities.
The benefit of systems that use black bodies to calibrate their equipment is greatly improved temperature-detection accuracy. A black body is a device which absorbs radiant energy of all wavelengths without reflecting that energy itself. What this does is ensures that any thermal radiation detected is related to temperatures only and eliminates interfering radiation from the environment. This device is crucial to reliable temperature readings.
High-tech infrared sensors are able to read thermal data at long range distances. This technology has been used by the military and law enforcement exclusively in the past but is now affordable and has been transformed into usable public sector devices to help with many situations, including thermal car cameras and thermal security cameras. Now infrared and thermal tech proves itself useful for fever detection and quick screening of big groups of people in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Limitations of IR Mass Fever Screening
While mass fever screening can be beneficial to any business, it is important to keep in mind what it is used for and what it cannot do.
A thermal mass fever screener, or IR mass fever screener, is not designed to diagnose any virus or medical condition. However, it will detect elevated skin temperatures and add a layer of safety to screening for COVID-19 symptoms.
It has been reported in some recent studies that not all coronavirus-infected individuals will show symptoms, and it is important to realize that screening for fevers is not a guarantee that an infection or outbreak will not occur. These systems are efficient at what they do, but you should also keep with other virus prevention policies such as robust cleaning and disinfecting procedures, wearing facial masks and gloves, social distancing, frequent hand washing and turning away employees or customers who are sick or showing symptoms.
The specialty of mass fever screeners is quick, contactless fever screening to assist places of large foot traffic with limiting their exposure to sick individuals. A thermal fever screener will detect elevated skin temperature and is not a substitute for internal temperature detectors such as thermometers. Although an individual could have a high skin temperature for other reasons, it is safest to turn away those who might have a fever.
The official defining number for a fever may differ from state to state, so it is important to calibrate your fever screening system to detect your state’s minimum fever temperature reading. However, some companies have their own number for defining a fever, such as Walmart and Amazon defining a fever for their workers at 100- and 100.4-degrees Fahrenheit respectively. If you are buying a screening system for a large corporation, you may want to defer to their temperature threshold.
The Best Thermal Mass Fever Screener
Ir Thermal Thermometer
Speedir is a US-based company and an emerging leader in the thermal imaging market who has recently come out with an affordable thermal mass fever screening package in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. This package includes all the state-of-the-art equipment needed to set up a mass fever screening checkpoint within an hour of opening. With US customer support available, setting up your new fever screening system will be both easy and quick.
Speedir’s Thermal Mass Fever Screening System with Artificial Intelligence is an infrared mass fever screening system to revolutionize the way we screen for COVID-19 symptoms. Included in the package is an advanced infrared-enabled camera with a processing algorithm built-in, a black body temperature referencing device, a PC with a licensed Windows operating system and analysis software, plus all of the extras needed to set up your system.
What makes this fever screening system special is its AI deep learning algorithm and black body to ensure the highest accuracy and the lowest false warning rate possible. With its included PC, all the software that you need to perform advanced facial recognition and temperature detection. Thanks to this incredible technology you can screen up to 500 people a minute with an accuracy of +/-0.3 degrees Celsius at between two and ten meters.
Some other features of Speedir’s fever screener is transferrable data reporting, easy setup and relocation for crowd control, easy temperature threshold adjustment, compatible remote screening, an affordable price, and fast delivery from San Diego.
This IR mass fever screening system is optimal for any high-traffic area, especially for airport fever screening, subways or train stations, government buildings, shopping malls, schools, and hospitals where essential workers are often found. As we know, protecting essential workers with the best IR fever screener is incredibly important to the continuing function of our society.