The effectiveness of thermal cameras for fever screening

Are thermal cameras the most popular product of 2020? There are many reasons to believe so. 

In this article, we will explain why businesses are highly interested in such technology and how it helps them become safer and COVID secure. 

Let’s start with the basics – what thermal cameras are and what they do

The concept is simple. All objects emit infrared light. The hotter they are, the more infrared light they give off. So, engineers have come up with technology that allows accurate measurement of temperature without the need to physically touch the object. 

To do so, specialists devised a camera that is capable of detecting this heat and then representing it as visible light on a screen. Every temperature range is assigned to a colour; hence the different colours on the screen reveal different temperature levels on the recorded object. 

This process is named thermography. It is more commonly known as thermal imaging. 

Thermal cameras have been around for quite some time. People use them in numerous scenarios – police use them to detect suspects at night, weather stations track storms and hurricanes with such devices and construction businesses see how buildings lose heat through cracks. 

However, recently we see their wide application in healthcare and fever screening, in particular. 

How thermal imaging is useful in fighting fever-related illnesses

Thermal imaging is a great precautionary measure. 

However, for optimal results, it should be used in combination with conventional diagnostic practices. There are some reasons for this:

One is the difference between skin temperature and overall body temperature. In normal conditions, the temperature of the human skin is slightly lower than the body’s internal temperature. 

Usually, thermal cameras measure skin temperature. This can be a bit tricky for staff and healthcare specialists to determine who needs medical care. The good news is that such difficulties can easily be avoided with the choice of proper equipment. Check out how to choose the best option for your business here

Additionally, the human temperature around body areas is at different levels. So, thermal cameras detect various temperature levels in different body areas. Although detailed and fast, such data should be combined with conventional medical practices for optimal results.

There are many reasons why businesses start relying on thermal camerаs and seek ways to implement such technology in their everyday activities.

Thermal cameras have many benefits 

One such is the speed with which the camera measures heat levels. It takes less than a second for the device to make a temperature measurement. 

Also, a great benefit of thermal cameras is that they are capable of detecting heat levels of many people at once. This is useful in many situations. For example, when the thermal camera detects several individuals with unusually high-temperature levels, different precautionary measures can be taken.

This leads to a single and an important question.

How thermal cameras detect viruses? 

Thermal Cameras

As mentioned, one of the symptoms of a virus infection is high body temperature. However, this is not a symptom of any individual disease. Illnesses usually come with many different symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, headache, loss of taste and smell, breathing issues, the list goes on.

Also, high body temperature can be the symptom of something completely different from a virus. It can be the result of a seasonal fever, catching a cold, allergies, recent sports activity, and so on.

So, detecting high body temperature via thermal cameras is only the first step of diagnosis and the first step of taking safety measures. The good thing is that it is a very good, effective and fast method. 

A protocol to manage people with high fever

What happens when a thermal camera detects high body temperature? 

Usually, there’s a protocol that staff and authorities follow. If your organisation is deploying thermal cameras, make sure you have a step-by-step plan for dealing with subjects with high-fever. Isolating problematic cases is only part of the solution, you should point the person to the nearest testing facility. Hospitals and medical centres easily do this but might be more challenging for large public spaces (airports, for example) or busy office spaces.

Final thoughts on thermal cameras

Every kind of fever and virus, including Covid-19, is preventable as long as one follows the directions of the health specialists. Also, it’s important to take all precautionary measures – use masks, keep distance, invest in modern safety technologies and educate yourself on the subject and help others remain safe.

As stated, thermal cameras quickly become an important part of today’s precautionary measures. 

Investing in such devices can help businesses remain safe and reliable for customers and partners. Also, by adopting thermal imaging, managers demonstrate the willingness to help society overcome the global pandemic more quickly and easily. Such contemporary technologies prompt more responsible behaviour for staff and customers and ensure quick and adequate response when such is needed. 

The healthcare industry is yet to unlock the vast potential of thermal imaging. Learn more about thermal fever scanning here!