Companies are interested in a quick and scalable way to screen employees, visitors, and contractors for an elevated temperature (above 100.4°F) as they enter facilities.
Thermal imaging cameras are being considered by companies as a return-to-work strategy or a way to maintain productivity for critical personal.
Convergint’s Advanced Solutions Team has conducted extensive research and has determined that most thermal imaging solutions are often not viable for accurate elevated body temperature detection, which may or may not be a symptom of COVID-19.
Thermal cameras: fact versus fiction?
The sudden appearance of “COVID detection” and “fever identifying” cameras and software have created a significant amount of confusion in the marketplace. Few organizations have had a reason to explore a solution like this in the past, and companies are making buying decisions based on claims that have limited testing for the proper scope and scale of the solution’s deployment.
There are only a few FDA-approved, temperature-sensing thermal cameras and software solutions available in the market today, and they have typically served the pharmaceutical and biochemical vertical markets. An FDA-approved thermal camera temperature solution is governed by ISO13154, which sets the standard for the deployment, implementation, and operational guidelines for identifying febrile humans using a screening thermograph. These installations carry a high cost but have extreme value in the right environments and applications. The Advanced Solutions Team from Convergint has identified and is able to support and partner with solutions that are FDA-approved if it is a customer requirement.
Organizations looking to deploy a more cost-effective solution for a commercial application have extensive options, and again, will get varying results based on the type of environment, the installation methodologies, and the claims versus the actual performance of the sensor and software being utilized. Convergint’s Advanced Solutions team has identified thermal cameras and software that we are confident can provide a starting place for frictionless and scalable temperature detection for commercial applications:
Deterring employees, visitors, or contractors who feel the need to go to work since they know they will be screened and turned away.
Proactively enhancing company safety and responsibility by preventing transmission from sick workers and screening others who may not know they have a fever.
Provides a starting place to develop a process for futher screening and potential removal of sick individuals.
After extensive research and disqualifying multiple applications currently on the market, Convergint’s Advanced Solutions Team has identified the following four solution providers that may be applicable in the correct environment.
Proceed with caution.
Get help navigating the right solutions for your organization.
As with many aspects of the current environment, there is a lot of misinformation circulating, and there are bad actors trying to capitalize on the crisis situation. Companies that are interested in evaluating thermal imaging cameras must proceed with caution and have a very tight scope-of-work defined. The supply chain for thermal imaging sensors is stretched very thin with extended lead times that are changing daily. In addition to thermal imaging solutions, companies should consider alternative COVID-19 risk mitigation actions, including changes to policies and procedures, using access control to track potential COVID-19 exposure, monitoring and managing workforce health, and using remote tools to manage vacant facilities. It’s imperative organizations have the right counsel to navigate solutions available and determine the best application to fit the various environments and applications.
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04/07/2020 Update: The accuracy claims for both Embedded Logix and Infrafed Cameras Inc have been updated from 0.1ºF to 0.54ºF. These updates were made based on new or clarified information provided by each manufacturer.