Since the world began dealing with the effects of coronavirus on everyday life, there’s been a lot of hype about body temperature detection cameras from the media, manufacturers and suppliers. We’re all guilty, to some degree, because these systems can play a significant role in both conveying a sense of security and genuinely helping prevent the spread of coronavirus.
However, perhaps the question that needs asking and answering is; can body temperature detection camera systems be used to detect the presence of a virus in a person?
In short, no. However, they can be used to identify elevated body temperature, which is recognised as an effective use of technology to detect when the body is fighting an infection, such as when coronavirus becomes COVID-19.
Currently, body temperature detection cameras are the only effective way to detect elevated body temperature without the need for close-up, individual testing. The current social distancing measures, which are likely to remain with us for some considerable time, make the remote, non-touch camera technology essential in many situations.
You’d be forgiven for thinking body temperature cameras were developed specifically for the current coronavirus pandemic, but they’ve been around for years at train stations, airports, factories and at public events, in one form or another.
Early body temperature detection systems were typically thermal cameras. In 2009, according to an article written by NBC News, thermal cameras were used to help detect if passengers had swine flu and other contagious diseases. However, we now know it’s more complicated than that.
The coronavirus pandemic established an urgent need for new technology to be developed that refined the process. Today’s body temperature detection camera systems not only accurately detect elevated body temperature, using facial recognition to identify a human face, but can do so within tight parameters, presenting the findings in real-time, on a monitor, and raising an alert if the present temperature level is breached.
During the period they were in lockdown, London City Airport installed body temperature detection cameras, which became fully operational when flights resumed on June 21st.
Once a passenger is identified as showing an elevated body temperature, they will be asked to allow staff to retake their temperature, using a handheld, non-contact device, and will be required to answer questions about their symptoms and general health.
If the passenger is determined as potentially experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, the airport will inform the airline and, according to Dutch airline KLM, the passenger will not be allowed to continue to the aircraft.
HERE TO STAY.
It’s become clear that using thermal camera technology to detect the possible presence of a highly contagious infection becomes more complex, the more applications it’s used for.
Body temperature detection camera systems are not foolproof and will very likely never be able to provide a cast-iron guarantee of virus detection in humans. However, the technology is continuing to develop at a rapid rate and is the perfect first-line defence in detecting the possible presence of a virus in a person.
Love them or hate them, it’s likely that body temperature detection camera systems will become commonplace in our everyday lives for some considerable time, as they continue to play a vital role in helping to maintain people’s health, particularly in areas of high public occupancy such as offices returning to work.