Did you know that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States will soon break ten million? This seemingly uncontrollable growth makes it more important than ever for all establishments to implement prevention measures. But exactly how can you tell if someone has COVID?
Many people who have it may be unaware that they’re asymptomatic carriers. One solution is to quickly check people’s body temperature as they enter an establishment. New technology makes it possible to quickly and safely screen out people with high temperatures before they come into contact with healthy individuals.
In this article, we’ll be discussing this new body temperature screening technology and which types of buildings should implement it right away. Let’s get started!
Ever since COVID hit, our daily lives have looked a lot different than they used to. While we can’t expect people to put their lives on hold, we can make it safer for them as we inch toward a new normal. This means installing temperature screening wherever there’s a high influx of people. But exactly what types of facilities need this new technology?
The first establishments that should consider them are places that experience large gatherings of people. This means buildings like schools, transportation hubs, and concert/event gatherings. It’s also important to implement them in business offices and government buildings.
These types of establishments don’t experience the same amount of high traffic as facilities as a school does. However, they do see regular employees coming in daily contact with everyday visitors. As such, if you want to keep everyone in your establishment safe, then it’s important to implement this type of technology.
Buildings with large crowds of people aren’t the only ones that require temperature screening technology either. It’s also important wherever immuno-compromised people gather. These can be facilities like hospitals, dentist offices, or nursing homes. While there may not be a large number of people in these buildings, the people who are there are much more susceptible to COVID.
If you’re interested in temperature screening any occupants of your building, then you’re probably wondering what your different options are. The FDA recommends two different types of temperature screening assessment devices: thermal imaging systems and non-contact infrared thermometers.
Both of these devices come with their pros and cons. As such, the right one for your building depends on the way it operates and the amount of daily traffic you receive. To help you decide, we’ll go into the nitty-gritty details behind each of them. We’ll start with thermal imaging systems.
Thermal imaging systems use infrared camera systems to detect the temperature radiating off people’s skin. They do this by taking a series of temp readings from multiple locations. This creates an entire temperature map of the person’s body. These types of systems come in a variety of different forms.
For example, our SmartTemp technology comes in four distinct form factors: metal detectors, kiosks, mounted cameras, and handheld cameras. Ultimately, it’s best to utilize several of these options in your building to make sure that all your bases are covered when it comes to measuring temperature.
The biggest benefit of thermal imaging systems is that the person monitoring the temperature levels doesn’t have to be in close contact with the person being evaluated. This keeps everyone safe during the screening procedure. These types of systems are also able to monitor temperature levels much faster than non-contact infrared thermometers.
This makes them more ideal for crowded locations like airports, schools, and concert venues. Finally, studies from the FDAshow that when thermal imaging systems are set up correctly, they are incredibly accurate at reading temperature.
Certain systems might be too complicated for the average person without proper training. As such, a preliminary site evaluation will help you determine the best location(s) for the thermal imaging cameras. Professional installation and training is also important to ensure the accuracy of your system.
Like thermal imaging systems, non-contact infrared thermometers (or NCITs) use infrared technology to measure the surface temperature of the skin. The main difference is that NCITs measure the temperature in a single location. Thermal imaging systems on the other hand take temperature readings from multiple areas of a person’s body.
Non-contact infrared thermometers typically require the individual to get close to the person undergoing the screening. Typically, the temperature is measured by placing the device close to the person’s forehead. Since these devices come into close contact with potentially infected individuals it’s important to clean them after each use.
The biggest benefit that comes with non-contact infrared thermometers is that they’re easy to use. As such, they don’t require extensive training to understand how to use them properly.
They also measure the temperature quicker than a traditional thermometer. If you don’t get an accurate reading the first time, then you can easily measure it again. In some cases, this might be more preferable than having the person walk through a temperature reading metal detector a second time.
Unlike thermal imaging systems, the non-contact infrared thermometers require close contact to work properly. This isn’t ideal because it puts the person measuring the temperature in a potentially dangerous position.
Non-contact infrared thermometers can only measure the temperature of one person at a time. This makes them incredibly impractical for areas with a lot of foot traffic.
The final major drawback is the conditions needed to measure the temperature. The environment and the position of the device of the forehead need to be perfect for it to work. It also isn’t practical for certain individuals who wear head coverings for cultural reasons.
Body temperature screening is a great way of sorting out visibly sick people from the crowd. Unfortunately, the method isn’t 100% accurate at detecting COVID. The only way to be sure that someone doesn’t carry the virus is through an official diagnostic test. 99% of people who were hospitalized with COVID indeed experienced high temperatures as one of their symptoms.
Unfortunately, not everyone with COVID exhibits a high fever. Asymptomatic carriers can carry the virus and not even know it. Or people may take temperature-reducing medication, which can help them slip past the system. As such, temperature screening technology should be used as an effective triage method. However, it shouldn’t be the only safety measure that you implement.
Body temperature screening is a great place to start, but it shouldn’t be the only safety measure you should implement. Face masks and social distancing are still the most effective ways of preventing the spread of the virus. As such, a mandatory face mask policy in your building is a great place to start.
Social distancing can be harder since it’s difficult to enforce a six feet distance policy in crowded areas. However, creative solutions, like clearly marked queues for lines and distanced waiting areas, can help people maintain this distance. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of commonly touched surfaces is also a great protective measure.
If you work in an office building and someone tests positive, then you should have that individual self-quarantine. If this happens, then we also recommend having the rest of the staff tested, just to make sure it doesn’t spread.
The same goes for schools. If multiple people test positive, then you should consider alternative education methods. This is much more preferable than putting an entire population of students at risk. Luckily, educational technology like our SmartBooks are making socially-distanced learning easier than ever.
We hope this article helped you learn more about the ways body temperature screening technology can protect the people in your building from COVID. There’s no doubt that the world’s a scary place right now. But, with the right equipment, you can make everyone feel a little safer.
But how do you find a body temperature screening equipment supplier you can trust? Simple: by choosing the SmartTemp technology offered by Premier Wireless. Not only does SmartTemp measure temperature from a safe distance, but it’s also fast and accurate. In one second our cameras can read body temperature within 0.5-degrees of accuracy.
It can even detect whether or not the people who enter your building are wearing a mask. Plus, it’s easy to use, so anyone can be trained with it. Interested in learning more? Find out more about how our tech solutions can keep your facilities safe in the era of COVID.