As concerns about the coronavirus ramped up, Wynn Resorts added thermal imaging cameras to detect guests’ body temperatures at entrances to the Las Vegas casino.
The announcement that Wynn Resorts would temporarily close amid Coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns overshadowed this technology installation. But the Wynn’s new technology aligns with similar installations in corporate facilities, governmental buildings, and airports.
Facilities embrace the new security technology for one very simple reason: We benefit by identifying individuals infected with COVID-19 earlier. A whitepaper from G2K Group titled, “Security Technology And AI: A Powerful Duo In The Fight Against COVID-19,” reports an individual with COVID-19 infects an average of 2.5 people within five days.
Surveillance cameras like the FLIR Systems’ A320 Tempscreen Infrared Thermal Imaging Camera used by Wynn resorts and various airports, reduces infection rates through early detection, keeping Coronavirus case numbers at a capacity the health care system can absorb.
Why Security Technology?
One of the earliest symptoms of COVID-19 is fever. Thermal imaging cameras and temperature-sensing security technology can help detect individuals with raised body temperatures.
When airports, train depots, hospitals or venues like the Wynn use this security technology, they quickly spot individuals with a fever. The systems notify security personnel who take steps to separate those people for further screening by healthcare professionals.
Dr. Frank Gilbert, a professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Wildau, Germany, believes advances in surveillance technology play a fundamental role in restricting COVID-19’s spread. He declares there’s immense potential in artificial intelligence and thermal imaging.
The Benefits of Infrared Temperature Screening
When facilities use artificial intelligence and thermal imaging to spot people with fevers, FLIR Systems’ reports companies see a host of benefits:
- Allows security officers to scan large numbers of people as they walk by
- Displays and detects critical temperature elevations in real time
- Alerts key authorities when it identifies individuals with raised temperatures.
- Protects public health by screening for fevers caused by contagious illnesses (like COVID-19)
Innovative Fever-Screening Technology
The FLIR A 320 provides a visual map of skin temperatures in real time and can detect minute temperature differences down to 0.07 degrees Celsius. A320 Tempscreen thermal infrared cameras include color images and temperature scans, and signals when body temperatures exceed set temperature thresholds. Once informed, security personnel determine whether to refer the identified individual to the healthcare system.
FLIR Systems is but one company leveraging AI and thermal imaging security technologies to detect fevers.
Athena Security made a name for itself in 2018 when it introduced security camera technology able to detect firearms within its view by comparing the heat of a suspected concealed weapon with the body surface near it.
The Austin, Texas, company is now launching “artificially intelligent thermal cameras” able to detect fevers in people as they walk by. The system deliver automatic alerts to security officers. The cameras detect the heat of 12 separate places on the body and can predict temperature within a half-degree. The software zooms in on an individual’s inner eye, which Christopher Ciabarra, co-founder of Athena Security, says is most reflective of a body’s current temperature.
The system uses AI to simultaneously monitor hundreds of cameras and issues alerts to security staff when it detects someone with a fever. According to Ciabarra, the system takes 1,000 temperature readings an hour, more rapidly than the handheld temperature readers used at airports.
G2K also introduced comparable technology. Its Corona Detection & Containment System (CDCS) uses AI-supported data analysis to spot potentially infected people, virus hotspots and distribution routes. The company utilizes its “Situational Awareness Builder,” a scalable IoT platform, and thermal imaging cameras to detect feverish individuals as they move by. The system notifies security when it detects a possibly ill individual.
The above technologies integrate into existing security systems through an Application Programming Interface (API) platform. API interfaces enable professional security installers to install and integrate these modern technologies into existing security systems.
Using Technology to Screen
The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic and U.S. and state officials responded by limiting large gatherings, closing schools and unessential businesses, and imposing travel restrictions. Using technology is another viable step to limit the infection’s spread.
According to FLIR Systems, screening for COVID-19 looks like this:
Step 1: Systems remotely monitor individuals as they pass screening checkpoints at entrances to airports, corporate buildings, schools and hospitals.
Step 2: Security professionals observe color variations on a screen or receive automatic alarms when an individual exhibits an elevated body temperature.
Step 3: Security direct persons with raised body temperatures to a separate location for screening by health professionals.
Though security technology cannot prevent COVID-19 infections, it can reduce its spread. Infrared screening technology provides a noninvasive and effective way to test passing crowds for the Coronavirus.
Installing the technology could save lives.
“Higher temperatures are among the earliest symptoms of COVID10,” says Ciabarra. “These cameras can be life-saving; they provide an early indication that an individual may have the infection. This knowledge may encourage him or her to self-quarantine. Although many people will become sick, this technology could prevent them from spreading the illness to others.”