Partners integrate thermal scanning into customer offerings

Efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 have generated interest in thermal scanning systems. Find out how channel firms are incorporating the technology into their offerings.

By Spencer Smith, 

As the world continues to grapple with the spread of the coronavirus, organizations are turning to thermal scanning systems as a means of protecting health in public and commercial spaces. Channel partners have stepped up to meet the demand.

The technology, which measures heat emitted from an individual’s skin to determine their core temperature, has existed in various iterations long before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, market players are giving thermal scanners a 2020 spin.

New fever detection systems incorporate advanced technologies designed specifically for COVID-19 use cases and to ensure a high level of accuracy in temperature readings. Providers say thermal scanning systems are suited for a multitude of applications at airports, sports stadiums, schools, office buildings, distribution centers and healthcare facilities — these are just a handful of examples where the technology could help reduce the presence of the virus.

Andrew Southern, founder and CEO at Invisible Health Technologies, a New York-based VAR launched in April, said thermal scanning technologies have sparked broad interest. “There is certainly more interest every day as people start to settle into the idea that … there are some viruses that will be with us for some time,” he said. The company offers Omnisense Systems’ Sentry MK4 Mass Fever Screening Systems, which specialize in scanning crowds in motion.

Omnisense thermal imaging photo
A look at an Omnisense monitor in an airport setting.

Factory sites are among those engaging Invisible Health Technologies for thermal scanning systems, Southern noted. “These facilities are realizing they need to implement something to help keep their employees safe and, frankly, to reduce the potential for outbreaks,” he said. “You can imagine there is a lot of lost revenue and time related to an outbreak in a factory. So, these folks that are adopting this technology are looking at both the health and safety of their employees but also to protect their bottom line.

“The market will shake out exactly where this [technology] is most useful,” he added.

Selling thermal scanning systems

While channel partners currently offer thermal scanning systems as standalone products, some are wrapping the technology into broader offerings.

Chris Swanger, regional vice president of eConnect, said his company integrates thermal scanning in a solution dubbed eClear. In addition to providing temperature checks, eClear can use face-matching capabilities to perform tasks such as autonomously logging employees into a timesheet system. EClear can also count people, Swanger said, allowing facilities to monitor occupancy levels in real time.

“All of this is simultaneously conducted along with the thermal scan,” Swanger said. He noted that eConnect sells eClear directly and through its reseller partner program.

In one application, users can install the system at a facility’s entrance and require an individual do a temperature check in order to gain access. They can configure the system to communicate to individuals if their temperature is normal or elevated, as well as request they wear a face mask. The system will issue alerts if someone is exhibiting elevated temperatures “so that the people that need to know … can triage that person and give them a notification,” Swanger said.

EConnect has deployed eClear for a variety of customers. A vertical the company targets is gaming, with customers that currently include Comanche Nation Entertainment, Ute Mountain Casino Hotel, North Star Mohican Casino Resort and Lucky Star Casino.

Swanger said eClear aims to provide customers with functionalities that will remain relevant after COVID-19’s spread becomes less of an urgent concern. That’s attained through the offering’s other features, such as the employee time clock system. “[Customers] don’t want to invest in a device that is going to end up in the closet in six months,” he noted.

Orion Innovation, a business and technology services provider based in Edison, N.J., sees long-term use in thermal scanner technology. The company has integrated thermal scanning capabilities into its services for the sports and live entertainment vertical.

Sam Adeyemi, the head of the sports and entertainment division of Orion Innovation, said he expects crowd-health assessment to persist in that vertical market even after the pandemic. “It is similar to back when you had the Paris bombings and a number of the leagues instituted different homeland security-based security protocols. You are now going to see a similar wave of solutions that come into live venues. I do think there are going to be some near-term things that stick, but for the foreseeable future, you now have a ‘next normal‘ that will include temperature checks,” as well as an increased level of sanitization and touchless operations, he said.”The COVID use case is just that — it’s another use case,” Adeyemi said. “As we deploy our technologies, we are constantly looking at ways of evolving them. … [The thermal scanning system] is really an additional capability that we worked into our overall workflow.”

Addressing limitations

The most obvious limitation of using thermal scanners for COVID-19 risk mitigation is that infections don’t always result in fevers. Since the early days of the pandemic, experts have warned of the risks of asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers.

The channel partner executives interviewed for this article all acknowledged this limitation. These systems aren’t a magic bullet but should instead be used as part of an organization’s overall strategy for managing the pandemic.

“We need to do what we can, and that would be … social distancing, mask wearing and hand sanitizing, along with thermal scanning, to try to mitigate the risk of illnesses in public spaces. It won’t eliminate it, but it can help to mitigate it,” Southern said.

Detecting fevers in moving crowds

Invisible Health Technologies’ Southern said the Omnisense system is looking to differentiate itself in the market by providing the ability to scan groups of people in motion. He said the system uses two cameras: a thermal camera and a regular surveillance camera. When the thermal camera detects someone who exceeds the temperature threshold, it alerts an employee watching the system’s monitor. Using the feed from the regular surveillance camera, the system will identify the individual exhibiting a high temperature on the monitor by drawing a digital box around that person’s face. The employee can then “spring into action and pull that person aside,” Southern said.

Another limitation is elevated temperature doesn’t always mean an individual is sick. For example, if a person were to run up several flights of stairs and enter a camera’s view, they would probably get flagged. Problems can also occur as individuals move between different temperature environments.

You can’t take someone out of the bitter cold or the tropical heat and bring them into a building and scan them within five seconds, because they will still be coming in with that residual temperature on their skin,” Southern said.

Both Southern and Swanger said it takes about 60 seconds for skin to regulate itself and acclimate to an interior space.

The human skin has an excellent way of controlling the body temperature,” Swanger said.

Thermal scanning systems can also run into other issues. For example, Swanger said if an individual is wearing a hat, a headband and/or a lot of makeup, it can interfere with the scan.

Camera-based data collection systems can get complicated, depending on whether a space requires individuals to opt into the screening, Adeyemi noted. It’s a consideration in the sports and live entertainment space. “That is something that has to be a consent-driven workflow, and that is where most of the thought process is going into with the [sports] leagues,” he said.

Thermal Imaging Cameras Becoming New Normal to Screen Crowds

As communities and businesses explore ways to protect against community spread of COVID-19, thermal imaging technology is in high demand.

In June, thermal cameras were deployed at two locations inside the Tom Bradley International terminal. The cameras are looking at the main entrance on the departures level and inside the terminal near select international arrival where both arriving and departing passengers are screened.

The cameras are designed to rapidly identify people with body temperatures of 100.4 degrees or more, which is the current guideline for detecting a fever set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In order to verify the first temperature, we ask them to step aside and use a second thermometer we have,” said Concentra Medical assistant Genevie Guillen. “We basically call them on the side and give them papers from the CDC and let them know they can continue on their journey or go home,” said Guillen.

The voluntary three-month pilot program includes signage alerting passengers where the cameras are placed. If a passenger indicates a fever, they are still permitted to proceed to check into their flight. The airline will determine if the passenger is able to board the plane or not.

“I thought it was dope the way they did it. We didn’t have to do anything. The camera could see us as we were walking in. I think it’s pretty cool to have this technology, especially in this time,” said LAX passenger Rob Taylor.

Prior to the pandemic, LAX was the third busiest airport in the world and moved a record 88.1 million travelers in 2019. In April, passenger traffic at LAX was more than 95% below what it was a year earlier.

“In America, in particular, I think people see this as new technology, and in fac, it’s not. Its been around a long time in other countries affected by previous pandemics, “said Andrew Southern, an authorized reseller of the Omnisense cameras operated at the Los Angeles International Airport.

The growing use of the technology has civil liberties experts warning about accuracy and privacy.

“In terms of privacy the best of these systems operate on their own, they don’t record anything to the internet. It’s just real-time monitoring as people walk by,” said Southern.

 

View the original article here.

How Thermal Screening Can Help Detect COVID-19 in the Workplace

How Thermal Screening Can Help Detect COVID-19 in the Workplace

As the coronavirus pandemic subsides — whenever that might be — businesses will be figuring out how to reopen in a manner that’s safe for employees as well as for customers. One valuable tool is thermal screening technology. In this conversation with SupplyChainBrain Editor-in-Chief Bob Bowman, Andrew Southern, founder and CEO of Invisible Health Technologies, discusses the state of the art of thermal screening, and why even the most effective systems must be supplemented by additional safety measures.

SCB: What types of thermal screening technology are in regular use today?

Southern: There are a couple of different kinds. There are traditional industrial thermal cameras for sensing heat on an engine, that have been repurposed to sense human fever. Then there’s a slightly more advanced form which uses a reference box that sets itself to, let’s say, 95 degrees, and shines back into the camera. That’s slightly more accurate than the industrial thermal cameras, because it has a reference. The most advanced and accurate version is a mass fever screening system [MFSS], which has been built from the beginning to sense human temperatures in public spaces.

SCB: How quickly can it do that for an accurate read?

Southern: In the case of the MFSS, it’s capable of screening people without their having to stop. The sensing happens while they’re within view of the camera lens. You can be sensing people for the entire time they’re walking down a corridor.

SCB: Is it accurately telling you whether or not those people have a fever?

Southern: What the technology does is sense heat coming off people’s skin. Then it does some math to estimate their core body temperature. Different systems have varying levels of accuracy, with the MFSS being the most accurate. It alerts you whenever somebody walks by with a temperature that’s been estimated above the limit that the user sets. You can be scanning many people who are below that threshold, and then the one person who’s reading higher will walk by, and the alarm goes off.

SCB: Has this technology existed for some time?

Southern: Thermal imaging for sensing human temperatures has been around for a while. Particularly in Asia, where the Omnisense Sentry system was developed in response to a bad outbreak of SARS in Singapore. It’s been operational for over 10 years there. Now we’re starting to see this technology being deployed in the U.S., for reasons related to COVID.

SCB: So the technology in use today is pretty much that same as it was back then?

Southern: No, there are enhancements and improvements that have occurred over time. In the case of the Omnisense Sentry, this is their MK4 model. They’ve had a number of generations prior to this while making improvements to both the sensing and reference technology. The way the system estimates core body temperature has improved over the years.

SCB: Is it widely used in manufacturing and logistics environments today?

Southern: Not at the moment. We’re getting there very quickly. People are understanding that in order to help bring a level of safety and confidence to their employees and guests, they need to provide some technologies in the workplace.

SCB: Is there any reason why these environments might be reluctant to deploy the technology?

Southern: There are two tripping points for folks. The first is that they’re afraid they could somehow be liable if they implement the technology and somebody comes through who’s sick. I’m not a healthcare professional, not a lawyer, but it seems to me that in this new normal, the risk of that liability is secondary to the health and safety of employees and guests at a facility. It’s just common sense. If you can deploy something that every day helps keep people a little safer, we should do that.

The second point is that people don’t understand the different levels of accuracy with these systems. A lot of my time is spent explaining how the technology works and what the tradeoffs and limitations are, so that they don’t have the feeling that this is the solution for a pandemic. It’s a tool we can use as part of a larger, broader effort to make sure people are safe.

SCB: Can these systems be prohibitively expensive?

Southern: Some are more expensive than others. The tradeoff is accuracy and speed. If you bought a system for $10,000, you might need everybody to queue up and stop in front of the camera for three seconds to get a reading. If you’re trying to process a lot of people arriving for a shift, you might need three or four lanes in order do everybody quickly and not have them waiting forever. You could think about a loss of productivity if you were to do something like that. On the flip side, an MFSS like Omnisense is $30,000, but it can scan everybody without them stopping. You can do the entire thing with no queues, just have people walk by, and you only need one of them.

SCB: Still, I would guess companies might pause for a moment before deciding to adopt something at that level.

Southern: Yes, it’s important to educate. There are places that require only the slower system, where it’s not necessary to have an MFSS. But then there are larger facilities that absolutely would benefit from a system like that. Once you realize how much productivity you could lose in the morning by queuing everybody up for 15 or 20 minutes, it makes sense to just have them walk through with a more expensive system.

SCB: Other than the potential cost, does the technology as it exists today present any shortcomings or problems with accuracy? Are there any issues to be addressed?

Southern: Yes. There are a couple of important things to keep in mind when you’re deploying any thermal camera system. The first is its location within the facility. None of them can sense people when they come right in out of the cold or heat. If it’s a sunny day and you take a reading right when they walk in the door, the camera’s going to read that heat on their skin. So we generally advise companies to figure out a way to sense them after about 60 or 90 seconds into the space. What that probably means is that you put the camera a bit further into the lobby of the building.

SCB: Is there room for improvement in the technology? Can it become even more accurate and less intrusive?

Southern: Technology always has the opportunity to improve. We’re down to 0.1 degree Celsius accuracy — that’s like a third of a degree Fahrenheit — with the Omnisense system, but the technology could ultimately get to 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit of accuracy. There’s always going to be a push to make the system more accurate, with a even better algorithm to determine core body temperature, andwith a smaller footprint and less power draw.

SCB: But other measures need to be taken as well?

Southern: Yes. This is one of the tools for helping to ensure people’s health, but it’s not the only tool, and it shouldn’t replace masks, hand sanitizing and social distancing. One of the downsides of the system would be that people might feel overly confident with this one measure in place. It should really be part of a larger effort.

Mass Temperature Monitoring Systems on PIX News New York

Invisible Health Technologies CEO Andrew Southern is interviewed on PIX New York to discuss Fever Detection Technology, Thermal Cameras and Mass Fever Screening Systems.

   

Transcription:

Testing tracing and public confidence. That’s what officials say we need to rebound from COVID-19 tonight.

A company thinks they have the answer to at least one of those issues. They’ve come up with the technology to track temperatures on a massive scale, but privacy concerns could become an issue in all this moving forward.

We spoke with the owner about the future of fever scanners.

Imagine walking through a crowded airport with a fever, when someone pulls you out of the sea of people and asks to take your temperature.

Andrew Southern, CEO of Invisible Health Technologies says with infrared cameras, it won’t be long before we’re seeing scenes like that play out in a post COVID world.

I think that it will help people feel confident to come out, back into public and go to businesses and go into buildings and get onto airplanes in crowded spaces.

A career technology consultant, Southern says he’s always had a skill set for prescribing technology. So when the pandemic hit the U S he wanted to put it to good use.

He founded his company in New York last month and is now selling Mass Fever Scanners, and other technological tools to fight COVID around the country.

But the technology isn’t new. Countries like Singapore have been using mass fever scanners since the SARS outbreak in 2003. And since COVID-19 hit VA hospitals and fortune 50 companies here in the States are already running pilot programs,

Unlike individual kiosks, mass fever scanners allow officials to monitor large crowds without requiring people to wait in line. Only if someone sets off the machine, would they need to be pulled out of the crowd for an individual temperature reading to confirm the findings.

We need to figure out a way to keep everybody safe without slowing them down. And these, the best of these thermal scanners allow for people to just walk right by, which is why Southern says the cameras would be perfect at places like arenas or transportation hubs, where you need to move a lot of people very quickly.

And when it comes to privacy concerns, he says there are more important and less invasive than the eyes we already have in the sky, but these are no different than a surveillance camera. Instead of saying like color, they’re seeing temperature, and none of this data is saved.

This is all in real time, the machines are accurate within 0.3 degrees and Southern says, installing them now would help us better prepare for a second wave of COVID-19 or whatever the next pandemic might be.

How technology can streamline and improve temperature screening

Thermal cameras can screen large groups of students coming into school buildings at once. Here are five points district leaders should consider before adopting

District leaders can improve and streamline school temperature screening procedures when students come into the building by using thermal camera technology to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.

Thermal detection can perform mass fever screening that surveils for heat radiating from people’s skin and sends alerts when temperatures are above a set limit.

“Unlike handheld thermometers like you would buy at the drug store for one-on-one screening, thermal video solutions can screen students coming in all at once so you don’t have to stop students one by one or split them up  in multiple lanes as they come into the building,” says Andrew Southern, CEO of Invisible Health Technologies, a health technology company.

Here are five recommendations that district leaders should consider before and after adopting thermal camera technology.

  1. Think about the set up.Schools with limited budgets can purchase equipment that needs to be plugged into various devices, such as laptops. More expensive systems with less or no cords are more mobile and can be installed on various surfaces, such as carts for example. “After setting up your equipment in once place and it doesn’t work, you can roll it over to another area and try again there,” says Southern.
  2. Ask about privacy.As with most surveillance technology, data privacy can be a major concern. Schools need to find out if the solution records and sends videos to a third party or if mass detection screening is not recorded.
  3. Identify placement.“Because thermal video technology reads the temperature radiating from people’s skin, you can’t have the thermal camera technology right at the door and screen students as they come in from the extreme cold and heat,” says Southern. “We advise that you give students 60 to 90 seconds of time to acclimate inside.” Therefore, these cameras should be installed further inside the building.
  4. Assign staff for monitoring.“[Some systems are] set up to alert when somebody walks by with an elevated temperature, so there needs to be a staff member who can quickly pull that student aside from potentially 200 and bring them to the nurse,” says Southern.
  5. Realize performance maintenance will be required.Even more expensive solutions require some form of recalibration at least once per year, so schools need to set a time when school is not in session to send their camera to the manufacturer. “Some systems are accurate to a 1/3 of a degree or have a 2-degree margin of error, but to maintain that accuracy, it usually requires maintenance on a yearly basis,” says Southern.

He adds, “Thermal scanning does not diagnose an illness and there are people who can have COVID-19 and are asymptomatic. But it does give us a daily view of the health of our student body, which is better than nothing.”

FoxNews.com Features Invisible Health Technologies

Full Article:

As America reopens, fever-screening technology touted as promising tool

By Rebecca Kesten | Fox News

Many businesses hoping to safely reopen are looking for ways to keep employees and customers safe from the spread of COVID-19.

Although not everyone infected with the coronavirus will have a fever, 83 to 99 percent of people with the disease experience an elevated temperature, according to the CDC.

Amazon is using thermal cameras to screen warehouse workers for fevers.

Fox News spoke with Andrew Southern, CEO of Invisible Health Technologies, about advising clients on technology solutions for their businesses. “People are looking for answers and guidance,” Southern said. His firm consults with real estate developers, hotels, as well as transportation, education, and manufacturing companies.

Southern specializes in mass fever detection systems, or MFDS, which allow for large groups to be screened at once, without creating a bottleneck of foot traffic.

“The way that these cameras are working, they are reading the infrared wavelegnths coming off from people’s skin,” Southern explained. “They estimate core body temperature, and with that estimation, they are screening people and anyone who is above a certain level of core body temperature, then flagged for a second, hand-held temperature check.”

According to Southern, these devices allow each customer or venue to set the threshold at which they want to be alerted. “100.4 [degrees Fahrenheit] seems to be sort of an industry standard that people are going by,” he said, which is consistent with the CDC’s guidance as to what temperature constitutes a fever.

Southern believes that accuracy and convenience are the two most crucial factors in fever detection. “One of the most important parts is not stopping people,” Southern said. “That inconvenience is the last thing we need right now. So, when I advise my customers about this new technology to keep their buildings safe, I advise the use of the MFDS.”

“It’s not going to rile people up and scare them. The idea is that the stream of people continue without stopping,” he explained.

The technology is not without limitations. Southern said that users passing through the devices will need to have their body temperatures acclimated to the indoors. “If you come in off the street from a hot or cold day, you need 60, 90 seconds for your skin to adapt before you take a reading,” which is part of the equation when Invisible Health Technologies consults with a client.

Working with a real estate developer client in midtown Manhattan, for example, Southern consults floorplans to understand the entrances and options, and explains that the fever detection system needs to be set further in, away from the doorway, to allow for an accurate reading. “We’re going to have to re-engineer lobbies and entrances,” Southern explained, to maintain social distancing and new check in procedures, especially in high occupancy buildings in New York City.

Once installed, Southern said the office building’s staff will be trained on using the system, but it will be up to the venue to put policies in place for employees or guests with elevated temperatures.

There are a variety of health screening systems available to business owners, but Southern said that most of his discussions are about the Omnisense Sentry MK4 Mass Fever Screening Thermal Imaging System, which has a development history dating back to the SARS pandemic.

Southern said the Omnisense Sentry, costing about $30,000, makes use of two screens with the exact same field of view: one side displaying the thermal heatmap, and the other an HD camera feed, so that when a person with an elevated temperature is detected, a “boundary box” appears on both screens. This allows the technician to identify which person needs an individual, secondary temperature check.

Many clients are concerned with privacy. Southern said that the fever-screening system is not set to record, though it is capable of doing so, if needed.

“Most screening takes place all in real time, it’s attended in real time, and it [the Omnisense Sentry] will beep at you, as the person is down the corridor,” he said, so there is time for the buildings’ staff to pull aside only those those who might clock in as having an elevated temperature. “Anything that’s blue or green is within the threshold, anything that is red is above the threshold that the user sets.”

“I do think that now, more than ever, Americans understand that their health in public effects everyone’s health in public,” Southern said. “I also do think that if everyone knew there was a process, that everyone was scanned for elevated temperature, they might feel a bit more comfortable to go out and shop for entertainment purposes or travel purposes.”

“Thermal cameras will become pretty commonplace in certain places — transportation, education, healthcare, manufacturing, entertainment, distribution,” Southern said. “Big industries fundamentally have to adapt to the new situation, the immediate needs of COVID reopening, or potential for a really bad flu season in the fall,” he continued.

“It’s one tool of a limited arsenal that we can use in this situation. I don’t want this to be seen as the answer, the silver bullet,” Southern explained. “But, it’s been deployed to other places, and we’re going to need to know more about people’s health in public spaces.”

The CEO of Singapore-based Omnisense, Leonard Lim, told Fox News that demand has never been higher.

“Since the introduction of Omnisense Systems Sentry MK4 into the U.S. market during COVID-19 period, we have expanded our production output by almost 10 times our pre-COVID level,” Lim said. “To meet the demand spike, we have to temporarily stop manufacturing our other products, convert all production lines and divert all related resources to producing the Sentry MK4.”

Lim shares Southern’s view that when it comes to post-COVID safety and economic recovery, fever sensing technology is one important piece of the puzzle.

“Although it does not specifically diagnose persons carrying COVID-19 or other viruses, it can flag out higher risk individuals by identifying those exhibiting elevated body temperature, allowing operators to process them,” said Lim. “If properly implemented, this will provide a safer environment for everyday activities without resorting to drastic measures that will severely affect livelihoods, society, and economy.”

The Sentry MK4 screening system is already in place at Singapore’s Changi Airport, and Lim believes the technology will become an essential part of the airport screening process, much like metal detectors, body scans and X-ray machines.

“In a post-COVID America, many will realize such screening measures are necessary to protect our way of life and to avoid future economic damage,” Lim said. “The question is not ‘if’ the next epidemic/pandemic will come, but ‘when’. If measures are implemented correctly and with enough density, the impact of such events can effectively be managed,” he continued.

A program is underway at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, to determine if dogs could be trained to identify patients with COVID-19, specifically those who are asymptomatic. If successful, fever screening in tandem with virus-sniffing dogs, could make for a useful combination.

Omnisense is encouraged by the response from U.S. customers, and Lim told Fox News in an email that they are “committing to the market and investing in a new facility [in Florida] to not only provide full local maintenance and repair capability, but our Sentry MFSS will also be proudly ‘Made in the USA’ before the end of 2020.”

Fever-sensing technology has extended above the ground, as well. Police in Westport, Conn., planned to test a “pandemic drone” in partnership with drone company Draganfly, but that effort was quickly abandoned as a result of the public outcry over privacy concerns.

Draganfly CEO Cameron Chell spoke with Fox News about how drone technology can be used for fever detection, public health and safety, and the now-paused Westport Flatten the Curve Pilot Project.

The Pilot Project would have allowed Westport Police officers with FAA drone certification to fly Draganfly drones, outfitted with the ability to collect public health data in phases, but it never got beyond pilot training. At first, Chell said, the drones were going to be used to measure social distancing. Eventually in the last phase, the Draganfly drone would be capable of detecting body temperature, coughing, mask wearing, heart rate and respiratory rate.

“We never got into any of the health measurement data, that would all be phase 3,” Chell explained. “We miscalculated the reaction that people would have. It doesn’t identify people, it doesn’t use facial recognition,” he said. “When that became a concern, they [the Westport Police] swiftly said ‘we’re here to protect our public, and if there’s great concern over that, then this isn’t something that we’re going to go forward with.’”

Chell believes the Westport Police Department “did a great job and made the right call.” Draganfly also prides themselves on public safety, he said.

He said that the Draganfly “pandemic drone” could be particularly useful in situations where members of the public have consented to drones monitoring their health data. “I think in controlled situations, where you’ve got a concert happening for example, it will become more commonplace,” said Chell, “but it will take time.”

Large groups could also be screened for elevated temperature individually, passing through an “unobtrusive” device “comprised of an array of thermal medical grade sensors,” said Internet of Things CEO Michael Lende of his new fever-detecting product, ThermalPass.

“This innovation was inspired out of necessity,” Lende told Fox News. ThermalPass, which already has regulatory approval by Health Canada, was developed as COVID-19 started to impact North America.

Lende said his company conducted several focus groups to determine the needs of various business owners across industries that would benefit from temperature screenings in order to successfully and safely open back up. These feedback sessions led ThermalPass to focus on concerns like privacy and user comfort when developing its product.

“They don’t want to be intimidated, they don’t want it to be a big clunky thing,” Lende explained. “Our designers and engineers created something that is thin, wide and tall, and you don’t slow down, you keep your normal walking speed.” He said the ThermalPass accommodates a steady stream of people, including individuals in wheelchairs or parents with a stroller.

Lende also said that the ThermalPass takes 20 readings per second and is unique because no cameras are used. The device records time of day, number of users and tracks temperature readings, but nothing more, which Lende said appeals to clients concerned about privacy.

The battery-powered archway weighs around 70 pounds and can cost between $5,000-$8000, depending on the model.

According to Lende, users will not only find the screening experience convenient, they will be comforted to know that everyone else surrounding them had also been screened for a fever.

“In-field” testing of the ThermalPass is expected to begin in the U.S. and Canada in early June. Lende said Commersive Solutions, his retail partner in getting the product to customers, has received calls from hospitals, malls, outdoor concert venues, retail stores, grocery chains and governments.

“I know people can not have a fever and still carry something,” Lende admitted, “but we’re one mitigating factor.”

“As a family guy, and as a dad, a husband, a business person, as a serial entrepreneur, it’s breaking my heart and killing me how society, how people have been impacted personally and business-wise by this coronavirus,” Lende said.

Fever screening, he believes, will instill confidence in those who are wary of getting back to large gatherings or travel, armed with the knowledge that although there are asymptomatic carriers, every person in that gathering is, at the least, fever-free.

“People so desperately want to get back to normal,” said Lende. “And, if you give them tools to do so, I believe our product will be one of those great tools, to help people have the confidence to book their business trip or family vacation, visiting friends.”

Omnisense Sentry MK4 Mass Fever Screening System In Action

Invisible Health Technologies’s CEO Andrew Southern provides a three minute overview of the features of the Omnisense Systems Sentry MK4 Mass Fever Screening System.

Transcript:

Hi everybody. This is Andrew Southern with Invisible Health Technologies.

Today. I’m really excited to share with you the most advanced Thermal Scanning System we’ve ever seen.

It’s called the Omnisense Sentry MK4 Mass Fever Screening System. It’s everything you see in this picture.

A complete system built from the ground up to sense people’s temperatures in public spaces, but it’s very unique.

First of all, it’s the most accurate system we could find at a third of a degree, Fahrenheit, accuracy.

Secondly, and very important. It can process people as they walk by without stopping. Other competing products require that you stop, take off your glasses, look into the camera.

Not so with this Omnisense system. And finally, this system has been deployed for over 15 years in Singapore and elsewhere. And we’re very proud to be bringing it here to the U S market.

But let me show you this system in action.

The thermal camera shows people walking by in blue and green colors when they’re within our certain limits, but outside of the limits, they’re shown in red and the system will alert.

The operator uses a touchscreen to set the alerts. And as people walk by, it’s a split screen image on the left. You can see the thermal image and on the right, you can see the HD image.

This is important because if somebody’s alerting, you can then look at the HD image and determine who that is and what they’re wearing. It’s important when you’re trying to pull somebody out of a crowd, but let me show you what I mean in real life…

Here’s an example from the airport, with a bunch of people getting off of an airplane. Everybody’s in the clear, you can see that clearly in the video, but look way down the hall, 40 feet down there.

There’s somebody coming right now with a temperature. That’s over the limit that we’ve set here. He comes this unlike everybody else, he’s shown in red.

If we pause it here, there’s a box around his face and the thermal image. There’s also a box around his face in the HD image. We can clearly identify this person and speak directly to him.

Let me go back to the product image for a second. Cause I think this is a great example of the power of this system in the foreground. There’s a gentleman wearing a mask and glasses, but we can still sense his temperature and determine that he’s over the limit that we’ve set.

Everybody else in this scene is in the clear, the kid in the background appears to be holding a Coke can, which is cold. And I can see that because it’s shown as sort of like a black image.

This system is set to only alert on the temperature of people’s faces. So it won’t go off if you’re walking by with a hot coffee cup, for instance.

Let me talk a minute about privacy. This system can be set to record the images from the cameras, as well as a time-stamped log of events or alerts that occur, or it can be set to not record anything and operate completely in real time.

And I think that that’s important to a lay people’s fears about privacy. If you want to learn more about this system, visit us@invisiblehealthtechnologies.com. Thank you very much.

Invisible Health Technologies on Good Morning Arizona

Thermal Cameras and Mass Fever Screening are the subject of this inverview with Invisible Health Technologies’s CEO Andrew Southern.

Transcript

You’ve heard, you know, how our lives are going to change due to the Corona virus. We’ll all be wearing masks. Folks will be getting their temperature taken at restaurants and as we get on or off a plane, but they are not going to be holding a wand up to each and every one of us, as we pass through. Look at this right here. Thermal scanners.

Andrew Southern from Invisible Health Technology is joining us via Skype this morning. Can these machines really pick out a specific person in a crowd who has a fever?

“Yes. Hi, good morning. They can actually, they’re made to sense large groups of people as they walk by and they can find just that one person who might have an elevated temperature.”

Interviewer: So what’s the privacy concerns involved here?

“Well, you know, I don’t think that there’s any more privacy concerns than a typical surveillance camera. In fact, surveillance cameras are recording all the time. Whereas these systems are set to not record at all. So it’s all happening in real time. Someone’s monitoring it. And if they see somebody above temperature, they can pick, pull them aside and speak with them.”

Interviewer: And we’re speaking to you because you create these thermal scanners. Tell me about how the business has changed with this new need.

“Well, actually, so I actually provide these thermal scanners for businesses and the technology is developed overseas in Singapore. It’s actually been running for a long time for about 15 years, and I bring those systems to businesses who are interested in protecting their employees and their customers.”

Interviewer: Is it something that’s very expensive for a business to put in?

“Well, it can be,but I guess that it’s a worthwhile consideration, you know, given the situation that we’re in. And I think everybody understands now that our health in public spaces affects everybody else’s health and public space. And we need to be wary of that.”

Interviewer: And talk to me about what an elevated temperature is. I’m always curious what what’s, what’s the cutoff, because I know I run hot,

“So actually inside the system, you can set where you want to have that alert occur. So, you know, different organizations will set it slightly differently. They don’t want to have a bunch of false alerts. So you set it appropriately. And then everybody who walks by will generally be fine except for one or two people.”

Interviewer: So I’m thinking airports may be stadiums. Should we get back into stadiums at some point? What kind of businesses will we see these at?

“Sure. Airports, factories, malls, schools, nursing homes. I mean places where everybody goes, we need to be able to bring some more confidence back to the public.”

Interviewer: So we’re looking at, we’ve been looking at some of the video. What do you see on someone who has a high temperature versus someone who does not on that thermal screen?

“Right. So generally it’s, it’s shown as a split screen and the thermal is on one side and there’s just the regular video feed on the other side. And when somebody walks through that, doesn’t a fever, they’ll be shown in green or in blue, but somebody who’s above a certain limit will be shown in red and then a little bounding boxes around their face. And then in the HD video, you can see them with that same box around their face. So if there’s 30 people going by, you can identify who that person is and go speak with them directly.”

Interviewer: How expensive are they?

“They’re about 30 grand.”

Interviewer: Wow.

“Yeah, these are called Mass Fever Screening Systems. So they’re made specifically for sensing large groups of people without anybody having to stop. There are other systems which are much slower and you have to queue up and look directly into the camera, but those are really going to work in these high traffic environments.”

Interviewer: And then do they have to warn us that they’re going to be taking our thermal temperature? Is that some signage that we’re going to be seeing out there?

“Yes. Yes. Yeah. They’ll, there’ll be signage. That’ll say, you know, active temperature screening and progress or something like that. But in terms of sort of day to day movement, you won’t actually have to stop. You can just continue walking into the mall or whatever.”

Interviewer: Wow. Very interesting. The way of the future I’ve already had my, my temperature scanned. When I walked into a restaurant, it was a little alarming, but whatever, whatever they need. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you very much.

Invisible Health Technologies on PBS News Tech Takeover

Invisible Health Technologies CEO Andrew Southern is interviewed by the PBS Philadelphia News Team about Mass Fever Detection Systems and Thermal Cameras.

Transcript:

Interest in thermal imaging is growing as COVID-19 rages on.

Tech takeover takes a closer look at the tech that detects fevers today. Tech takeover is taking a closer look at how thermal scanners and other technology are helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Let’s say an office building, you know, or an aquarium. They are ready to reopen, but they want to safeguard the environment for their employees and their guests.

Andrew Southern runs Invisible Health Technologies in New York. He formed the group in April in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Southern’s company creates strategies for reopening large public spaces by using tech like thermal scanners to detect fevers.

“Basically these are like surveillance cameras, but they sense heat. And they’re able to see the wavelengths coming off of our skin. And it’s with that, that they’ll make an alert.”

Heat rating tools have been used since the beginning of the pandemic to screen people for fever, you’ve probably seen or used a handheld infrared thermometer as businesses across the country, reopened Southern says temperature scans are likely to become a new norm.

“There’s a couple of different setups. The most basic is a meter that sort of points of people. They have to stop and look into the camera, take off their glasses and they’ll do that for three or five seconds to get a reading. And then they get the all clear or there’s an alert above a certain level. And then there’s more advanced ones that allow you to just walk right through without stopping.”

If your temperature is above 100 degrees, you could be denied entry. Some say the scanners are a gateway to surveillance culture.In the name of public health interest, and especially in a pandemic, it’s easy to make the argument that whatever we’re doing is what we should be doing. And it makes sense to do because the greater good. That said, I think that we have to walk gingerly here because I’m not sure anyone knows really, if there’s a benefit to this or not. When you’re using a handheld though, in most cases, it’s not connected to some sort of server database that’s going to transmit that data. In other words, it’s going to stay local. In theory, it’s going between the person doing the, taking the temperature, if you will.

Southern says the scanners he buys operate in real time. Also noting that not all scanners store recordings for long periods of time, he believes large-scale thermal scanners will play a critical role in reopening the economy.

“We all understand now more than ever, you know, that our health in a public space can affect other people’s health and public spaces. And to that effect, we shouldn’t be going out. If we have a fever, if we have an elevated temperature, it may mean that we’re ill. It’s not the only thing to manage this pandemic or any other future pandemics, but it’s one of the tools that we have at our disposal”

Building entrance temperature checks will likely stick around for a while. Since March temperature, checker positions have opened at health networks and other companies around the Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley region, you can find more tech takeover reports on PBS39.org.