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AI-based fever detection cameras for crowds launched

Many companies, that are remaining open during the coronavirus pandemic, have introduced temperature screening of their employees, customers and visitors. As an example, Walmart has announced it will be taking thermal temperature checks of every employee.

The focus is to identify anyone who may be sick before they come into a warehouse, distribution center or other facility. Fever (pyrexia) is when a human’s body temperature goes above the normal range of 36–37° Celsius (or 98–100° Fahrenheit). Triggers for fever include viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections. This includes the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 when it causes the symptoms of COVID-19. These symptoms include a high temperature, which means that are person feels hot to touch on their chest or back.

Digital Journalist Tim Sandle is scanned by biometric facial recognition.

Digital Journalist Tim Sandle is scanned by biometric facial recognition.

While devices are available to assess temperatures on an individual basis (ranging from the basic thermometer to thermal cameras), the challenge is with capturing a larger group of people. The medical technology company Kogniz Health has come up with a solution, launching its artificial intelligence camera solution.

The thermographic device can scan groups and crowds and detect who may have a high temperature (and hence a potential fever) so they can be isolated and removed from areas of contact with other people. Thermography is a temperature assessment process that uses an infrared camera to detect heat patterns and blood flow in body tissues.

thermography scan of Tim Sandle - monitoring skin temperature during COVID-19.

thermography scan of Tim Sandle – monitoring skin temperature during COVID-19.

The new device is called ‘Health Cam‘ and it consists of an integrated thermal camera, optical camera and a high-resolution screen. The device can be placed on an office desk or retail outlet counter or be placed on a tripod. The device can assess people as they pass by, either individually or in groups, for their temperatures. Readings are taken in real time using infrared technology. Alerts can be sent out over text messages (SMS), mobile pushes, or through collaborative work-space tools like Slack.

If any person has an elevated temperature, the image of any person is captured. In terms of range, Kogniz Health Cam can detect skin temperature up to five meters away. The technology is based on an artificial intelligence algorithm, which detects an individual’s temperature near the eyes (which is where the most accurate readings can be made).

During the COVID-19 pandemic it is critical for essential businesses to keep its employees safe. The scalable system from Kogniz Health provides a solution that means organizations do not have to post staff at entrances and slowly check people one-by-one for fever.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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