More on Infrared Health Screening
Here’s a view of the animated banner on the Fluke website. It teases one to look further to obtain information on the possible use of their infrared products in screening for flu carriers.
Unfortunately, if you click on the ad, you receive a registration/login form page, not any product or application information as their competitors provide, until you log in or give up your email address by registering.
But wait, there really is more!
Plus there’s a way to get some details by clicking “smarter”. If you click on the link to their Ircon or Raytek subsidiaries there is much more. (The other pages don’t come with Fluke’s annoying drop down ads, either)
On the Ircon or Raytek website, for instance, you can read their special News: April 2009 – Raytek and Ircon Infrared Systems Offer First Line of Defense as Fast, Effective Screening Tools for Swine Flu
“Noncontact IR technology can help identify elevated skin temperatures that can result from a viral infection”
SANTA CRUZ, Calif., April 30, 2009 ??? Fixed infrared scanners and thermal imagers from Raytek/Ircon, as well as handheld IR thermal imagers from its parent company, Fluke, can be used at airports, terminals, hospitals, schools, factories and public gathering areas to identify people with elevated temperatures resulting from an infectious disease, such H1N1 influenza A (aka, ???Swine Flu???). Individuals who register a fever can then be isolated for further evaluation to help prevent the spread of disease.
Raytek IR Product Manager Bill Kolbeck is quoted, saying, ???Growing international exchange, travel, and economic migration have increased the risk of spreading viral diseases. In response to this threat, public health authorities around the world need a fast, easy, non-invasive and reliable method to detect elevated human body temperature. Infrared thermometry is such a method. This technique is noncontact, so there is less chance of spreading infection or disease. Temperature readings are immediate, thus large groups of people can be screened quickly. Plus, infrared temperature measurement is completely safe and innocuous, so it poses no threat to public safety. People can be moving during thermal screening, so travel is not delayed.???
Key features of the Raytek system include a wide field-of-view to monitor adults and children without moving the camera, automatic data capture for record keeping, red light output for quick visual identification of alarm, and easy installation and set up.
The Ircon system includes automated thermal image (thermal picture) capture, an alarm output to a PC or to a light with relay accessory, real-time ???video??? output, and data storage for trend analysis. Both systems are fully automated, so an operator is not needed for temperature screening.
Product offering details are summarized in a downloadable PDF format document called Infrared Health Screening that may be obtained by clicking here.
The Ircon IR Maxline?? 2 fixed thermal imager is provided with a 3-year warranty for commercial use.
No export license is required for the Raytek MP150 fixed linescanner, ensuring fast delivery worldwide.
About Raytek and Ircon
Headquartered in Santa Cruz, California, Ircon has joined with Raytek to offer a complete IR solution, including the industry’s most complete line of infrared sensors, linescanners and process imaging systems. Raytek, a Fluke company, is the worldwide leader in noncontact temperature measurement. Raytek designs, manufactures and markets a complete line of infrared (IR) temperature measurement instruments for industrial, maintenance and quality control applications. Raytek distributes its products worldwide with subsidiaries located in Europe and China. For more information, visit www.raytek.com or www.ircon.com.
Why such a series?
This series of stories highlights the suppliers of Temperature measurement devices intended and specially designed for screening people for elevated body temperature, a likely indicator of fever and possible an infection, such as SARS, Avian Flu, Swine Flu, Dengue and others.
We do this for several reasons:
1. Most people are unskilled in selection and use of Infrared Thermal Imagers and thermometers. Consequently there are often serious mistakes made in both choosing and using such devices. We feel it is important to use our knowledge of them to try to save us from those who rush to judgment on technical matters without adequate input and thought. We are highlighting equipment suppliers who make devices tailored for this use as evidenced by product details on their web pages. (This is not an endorsement of those suppliers but rather an information resource to help cull out those who have some experience and products intended for this use.)
2. Please be aware there are now some international standards for these devices, their performance, and introductory standardized practices for their use. You can get the best help in selecting and using them, we believe. from experts at your National Measurement Institute (NMI) who specialize in the infrared field. There is a list of all the NMIs in the world at the website of the International Bureau of Weights & Measures (Le Bureau international des Poids et Mesures – BIPM) and a selected list on www.TempSensor.net.
3. Some vendors are more careful and experienced than others and we recommend that you check the experts at more than one of them before making any decisions plus run your views past the NMI experts before finalizing them.
4. Although the use of these devices doesn’t directly detect infection or all who are infected, it has been demonstrated that their careful use and selection during the SARS crisis of 2003 can help screen for and locate some who have the illness. The individuals then get more rapid treatment and are quarantined to reduce their possible effect on others. (See the SARS pages on www.temperatures.com for some details, reference stories and article links)
5. Yes, there were undoubtedly false negative as well as false positives in earlier uses. There will always likely be some of both. However, misuse, mostly though improvised practices and hasty, ill considered equipment choices, will increase the probability of more false negatives.
6. An effort to finalize ISO Standards for equipment performance and use will go a long way to improving the situation. Until a viable set of standards, developed by world experts are in use, we shall see continued mis-specification and misapplication of equipment and subsequent squandering of resources, in our opinion.
Note In late 2008, IEC published the standard: IEC 80601-2-59 Ed. 1.0 “Medical electrical equipment – Part 2-59: Particular requirements for the basic safety and essential performance of screening thermographs for human febrile temperature screening” . It provides many performance and calibration requirements for devices used in this application.
In March 2009, the ISO standard, ISO/TR 13154:2009 “Medical electrical equipment — Deployment, implementation and operational guidelines for identifying febrile humans using a screening thermograph”, was published. It bears directly on this use, and while not perfect, does represent a major milestone completed since SPRING Singapore began their effort to create workable standards in 2003.
The standards may be purchased and downloaded online at: www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=51236 and webstore.ansi.org RecordDetail.aspx?sku=IEC+80601-2-59+Ed.+1.0+b%3a2008 respectively.
(Kudos to John Snell of Snell Infrared for advising about the links for the online availability of these standards)