It was bound to happen I suppose. The outbreak of so-called swine flu and the panic that is gripping the media has finally reached the hallowed grounds of automation!
I’ve just received this piece of information from Fluke’s guys in the US.
First Line of Defense as Fast, Effective Screening Tools for Swine Flu
Noncontact IR technology can help identify elevated skin temperatures that can result from a viral infection
Fixed infrared scanners and thermal imagers from Raytek/Ircon, as well as handheld IR thermal imagers from its parent company, Fluke, can be used at airports, terminals, hospitals, schools, factories and public gathering areas to identify people with elevated temperatures resulting from an infectious disease, such H1N1 influenza A (aka, “Swine Flu”). Individuals who register a fever can then be isolated for further evaluation to help prevent the spread of disease.
Lessons learned from the outbreak of SARS/Avian flu indicate that infrared (IR) noncontact temperature measurement can be an effective, easily deployed solution for identifying individuals who may have elevated skin temperatures. The human body and all objects emit infrared energy. The Tokyo, Japan, airport is currently using IR thermographic imaging to screen large numbers of passengers arriving on international flights. Other countries, including among others, Australia, Thailand, Singapore and Mexico, have instituted similar screening processes to aid in fever detection.
These noncontact thermometers measure surface temperature, including the temperature of skin, which is displayed in color using a thermal imager or linescanner. An alarm or “red light” indicator can be triggered when anyone passes through the scanning area, such as a metal detector at the airport, with a body temperature outside the normal range.
Growing international exchange, travel, and economic migration have increased the risk of spreading viral diseases. In response to this threat, public health authorities around the world need a fast, easy, non-invasive and reliable method to detect elevated human body temperature. Infrared thermometry is such a method. This technique is noncontact, so there is less chance of spreading infection or disease. Temperature readings are immediate, thus large groups of people can be screened quickly. Plus, infrared temperature measurement is completely safe and innocuous, so it poses no threat to public safety. People can be moving during thermal screening, so travel is not delayed.
Key features of the Raytek system include a wide field-of-view to monitor adults and children without moving the camera, automatic data capture for record keeping, red light output for quick visual identification of alarm, and easy installation and set up.
The Ircon system includes automated thermal image (thermal picture) capture, an alarm output to a PC or to a light with relay accessory, real-time “video” output, and data storage for trend analysis. Both systems are fully automated, so an operator is not needed for temperature screening.
For more information they have produced a Fluscreen brochure – (But you will have to register your details with them before you download it!)