Mass Human Fever Screening With Equipment from OptoTherm
(A series highlighting the suppliers of special Temperature measurement devices used for screening people for fever, an indicator of possible infection. Note: Quoted intact with slight format changes to make it easier to read here from the OptoTherm Web pages.)
Sewickley PA, USA — ThermoScreen provides a noninvasive and cost effective method of screening individuals for high body temperatures that may indicate a fever. By identifying people who may be infected, ThermoScreen can help prevent the spread of contagious diseases such as influenza, Avian flu (bird flu) and SARS.
Designed specifically for mass fever screening, the ThermoScreen infrared fever screening system was originally developed in response to the need to screen large numbers of individuals for fever during the SARS outbreak in 2003. ThermoScreen thermal imaging technology allows subjects to be screened at a distance, without contact, providing a discreet and safe method of detecting feverish individuals.
ThermoScreen is capable of evaluating hundreds of individuals per minute so as not to restrict pedestrian flow. ThermoScreen is currently used in hospitals, airports, seaports, and businesses to help prevent the spread of contagious diseases such as influenza, Avian flu (bird flu), and SARS.
To achieve the high accuracy required for reliable fever detection, each ThermoScreen infrared camera undergoes a rigorous calibration process. Furthermore, OptoTherm employs sophisticated hardware and software developments to compensate for environmental changes to further improve the accuracy of screening measurements.
ThermoScreen is sold as a complete, fully tested system including a PC with pre-installed hardware and software.
How It Works
ThermoScreen is a completely passive device and emits no harmful radiation. The ThermoScreen thermal imaging camera measures skin temperature by detecting and quantifying the infrared energy that is continuously being emitted from the human body.
As individuals walk past the screening station, skin temperatures above a pre-defined threshold are detected and displayed in bright colors on the computer screen. An audible alarm is activated to notify personnel that a temperature violation has occurred.
To allow continued screening of individuals during a violation, the three most recent violation images are displayed on the screen.
When mounted in the mobile computer stand, ThermoScreen can easily be moved to alternate locations to screen additional groups of people or to accommodate changes in pedestrian traffic.
2591 Wexford-Bayne Rd.
Sewickley, PA 15143 USA
Tel: +1 724.940.7600
Fax: +1 724.940.7611
Email: sales [at] optotherm.com
Why such a series?
This series 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)