Mass fever scanner could reduce spread of COVID-19

As state and federal authorities deliberate over how to safely reopen U.S. society during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, tools that effectively monitor body temperature at a population level could help to get the ball rolling. To that end, software development firm Altoros Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., has released the Fever Screener, a fully automated, enterprise-grade system for setting up temperature scanning checkpoints.


Fever is one of the most common symptoms of the novel coronavirus, affecting 87.9% of people infected with COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization. Remotely monitoring public spaces for early signs of disease and tracking identified cases could prove beneficial in protecting the public and taking some of the load off health care workers.


“While health care workers are putting their lives at risk to treat and save patients, we can also do our part in minimizing the spread of the infection,” said Renat Khasanshyn, Altoros’ CEO. “With Fever Screener, we help to ensure that preventive measures are made properly, reducing the burden on the medical staff.”


The contactless Fever Screener can scan up to 30 people simultaneously at a distance of 3 meters, or nearly 10 feet, with a temperature accuracy of roughly 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit (0.3° C). Installed in entryways, checkpoints or other crowded venues, it can provide mass screenings, as well as recurrent temperature monitoring for potentially infected individuals.


Key components of the Fever Screener include a dual thermal/video camera and an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered module for temperature analysis. The thermal camera provides real-time temperature readings in the targeted area, displaying new data in less than one second. The video component uses AI algorithms to recognize human faces, even those obscured by masks, headwear or glasses.


If an individual’s body temperature is high, the device provides instant mobile or desktop alerts to specified recipients, with photos, thermal readings and geolocation points. The reporting system can be customized to trigger audible alerts at regular intervals, such as daily or weekly, to aid in tracking possible COVID-19 cases.


“This product is only the first in a suite of products, which together could allow businesses to reopen and get customers back,” he added. “The next product to be released is an autonomous robot, which performs disinfection in offices, restaurants, gyms, retail stores and places providing public service, such as public transportation. We are in this together with our customers.”


Other companies are looking at ways to remotely monitor groups of people and slow the spread of the coronavirus. Earlier this month, Flir Systems Inc., of Wilsonville, Ore., announced the launch of its A400/A700 thermal sensor device for industrial monitoring and elevated skin temperature screening. China-based KC Wearable also is monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms with a smart helmet that quickly screens up to 13 individuals at once – with the potential to screen 200 people per minute.


Also eyeing the space is Zurich-based startup Ava Science Inc., which recently issued a call for partners and funding to explore the use of its fertility wearable during the pandemic. Designed to provide highly accurate temperature readings to women monitoring their reproductive cycles, the Ava Bracelet could prove useful in tracking high temperatures due to the coronavirus.


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