With the outbreak of COVID-19 came the necessity for a non- contact method of identifying individuals that may be carrying the infection. Manufacturers, Engineers and Software Developers were tasked with this challenge along with a required completion date of "NOW". The results were devices that can identify individuals with an abnormal body temperature so that they could be isolated for further examination. Abnormal body temperature does not mean an individual has COVID-19 as there may be many reasons for the higher than normal body temperature. Whether the reason is from a hard run or a fever, further examination is required to determine the cause since fever is one of the COVID-19 symptoms.
Prototypes were developed by combining two readily available technologies. Thermal imagers and thermal arrays could measure temperature. Facial recognition algorithms could locate the facial area within an image. Facial recognition programs were altered to identify the forehead area of individuals. Thermal devices were altered to read temperature from the targeted area only.
Rapid development of these non-contact body temperature measurement devices have been deployed in areas such as railway stations, subway stations, airports, hospitals, factories and other public places with large floating population. All countries impacted by COVID-19 have implemented such devices.
While there are privacy questions about measurements of people's body temperature, the current requirement to address the COVID- 19 situation outweighs that for the time being. For those with privacy concerns, be aware that these systems have only one purpose, to automatically focus on an individuals face to trigger an alarm when a forehead temperature above 37.3 degrees centigrade.
The PRT-7MFTD is a stand-alone system in that there is no requirement for a network connection. Optionally, the camera may be connected to a network for the purpose of programming the various features or management of images taken by the camera.
The PRT-7MFTD is designed for indoor use where there is a consistent ambient temperature in the range of 16C to 32C to facilitate accurate temperature readings. Additionally, the installation location should away from direct sunlight and protected from wind This model provides a +/- accuracy of +/- 0.3C.
Outdoor use is possible providing that the camera is placed in a shaded, protected area such as a field tent. The requirement for an ambient temperature in the range of 16C to 32C still applies.