Using Thermal Camera’s In The Fight Against Covid-19

Using Thermal Camera’s In The Fight Against Covid-19

I think we can all agree 2020 was a year of unprecedented times that have seen a shift in how technologies are used throughout the UK. We have seen in our previous blog “Evolving Technology in line with changing security requirements” the new technologies that have been implemented throughout the coronavirus pandemic across the globe. However, we wanted to look at in more detail the benefits of thermal camera’s and how they have been used across the world to help the battle the ongoing pandemic.

It has become apparent that the faster the person is identified as being symptomatic the faster they can be tested and treated if positive, and the slower the rate of infection within your working environment.

Where, before, we would usually see them in areas of high footfall, now small companies and officers are also turning to the solution to enable the smooth reintroduction to everyday operations whilst staying in control of the spread of infection.

The cameras use infra-red (IR) to read an object temperature. Every object with a temperature above absolute zero emits a certain amount of radiation (IR), so the higher the temperature, the higher the level the level of radiation will be. A normal human’s temperature varies anywhere between 36.5 -37.5 anything above is considered as a fever.

As a result of this thermal cameras are specifically designed to read this radiation using an algorithm and then display corresponding images with coloured heat zones and temperature scales. If a pre-alarm set temperature is exceeded, then this causes an alarm so you can follow the protocols you will have in place upon identifying a symptomatic individual.

Here are the notable advantages of using thermal cameras in your school, office, or commercial building:

• It takes less than a second to screen an individual.
• There is very little set up required to install.
• Easy to deploy anywhere you need it (most common in entrances).
• Protects Public Health – Demonstrates that you are activity taking precautions.
• Convenient and Non-Disruptive – causes minimal disruption to your building.
• AI Detection – there is less chance of false alarms from detecting other heat sources.
• Test one or many at once – a choice of cameras can test one or multiple people at once.
• Highly Accurate – Accuracy is standard cameras is +0.5°C but can be calibrated to +0.3°C.
• Contactless- Measurements can be taken up to 3 metres away so it will not impact social distancing.
• Quantitative tool to stay in control – You can opt to record and keep the data it measures.

Automatic thermal cameras are safer and more cost-effective than a person with a handheld temperature gun. Many people say that being approached by a someone holding a handheld thermometer makes them feel uncomfortable. Usually, they cannot effectively take your temperature without standing extremely close to you which is an avoidable risk for them and for the end recipient. Even when wearing masks, standing at least a metre away is an important element in stopping the spread of the virus.

Thermal cameras demonstrate a public and reassuring commitment to health and safety. The primary role of thermal cameras is undoubtedly to improve public health. But they have another, important impact as a business employing effective thermal imaging technology is a business that is publicly demonstrating that it is well-organised and committed to health and wellbeing of its staff and others.

Cameras are one measure among many, but they are not an insignificant one. As the world grows more aware of the risks and ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19, camera solutions will be adopted by businesses, governments, and other organisations across the UK and globally.

If deployed with appropriate social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing, thermal cameras can be a powerful part of the fight to control coronavirus.