Infrared Imaging Systems for Human Fever Screening
A number of different technologies have been evaluated and used in the past decade for mass fever screening. Below is a comparison of Thermoscreen operation and effectiveness with several of the most common mass fever screening tools.
Fixed-Mount Infrared Cameras
Thermoscreen is included in this category but is distinct from its competition by its unique method of fever screening called Automated Screening. Automated screening is a sophisticated measurement process involving precision calibration, face and movement detection, verbal commands, ambient temperature compensation, and subject group compensation. Together, these unique features provide unparalleled ability to reduce the number of missed detectons and false violations. A low false violation rate allows Thermoscreen to be employed in applications where operators cannot attend to a high number of false positives. Furthermore, automated screening significantly reduces the demands on system operators, enabling them to focus their attention on addressing fever violations.
Hand-Held Infrared Cameras
Thermoscreen has the same advantages over hand-held infrared cameras as over fixed-mount cameras. Hand-held camera however, have other important disadvantages including the following:
- Holding the camera continuously leads to operator fatigue.
- Camera movement (even slight movement) leads to image blur, resulting in inaccurate measurements.
- Inconsistent screening distance between the camera and subject leads to inconsistent screening results.
- Cameras can be easily dropped and damaged.
Infrared Spot Pyrometers
Spot pyrometers are infrared measurement devices that measure the temperature of a single area. In the case of fever screening, this area is typically the forehead. Most spot pyrometers are designed to be used in industrial applications where their accuracy is not sufficient for effective fever screening. Because temperature is measured at a single spot, cooler areas of the skin are averaged with warmer areas, making if difficult to obtain consistent temperature measurements that correlate well with internal core temperature.
Infrared Temporal Scanners
These devices require operator contact with subjects and measure temperature by swiping a hand-held probe over the temporal artery. In order to screen a different subject, a new disposable cap cover must be installed on the probe. Operation of a temporal scanner requires practice and therefore measurement accuracy is influenced by operator skill. Thermoscreen can screen over 1000 subjects per hour, more than 10 times the screening rate of temporal scanners. Additionally, all subjects can usually be screened using a single Thermoscreen system. Studies confirm the importance of using the same instrument when screening subject groups in order to obtain consistent results.
This product is currently for export only. Optotherm is currently undergoing the US FDA Premarket Notification (510k) submission process for medical devices. As soon as Thermoscreen has been cleared, this product will be available for purchase in the US.