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Flir Thermal Cameras for Elevated Body Temperature Screening (COVID-19)
Screening for elevated body temperature (one of the symptoms of COVID -19) is one of the safety measures that could be implemented using a Flir Thermal Imaging Camera.
Many of you reading this article will already have a suitable camera deployed in other areas of your business. For those that don’t, it may be a good time to consider the purchase of a suitable camera and of course once the current threat is over this camera will be able to be utilized for more traditional thermal imaging tasks.
The screening mode is a standard feature on many of the Flir models and is an effective method of identifying individuals in a population that show higher than average temperature in relation to the rest of the sampled population.
Please forward this article on to other businesses that may benefit from screening.
FLIR Systems’ thermal cameras are not medical devices. They do not detect the Coronavirus or fevers. They are extremely effective, however, at detecting deviations in the external temperature of objects and people. With this capability, FLIR thermal cameras are commonly used as non-contact screening tools to detect differences in skin surface temperatures and pattern changes. In fact, FLIR has received approval for certain cameras from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to screen in high-traffic public places like airports, train stations, and subway stations. During the screening process, to obtain an accurate temperature reading, it is recommended that the camera focus on a single person and the intended target be as close to the camera as possible. If a person has been detected with an elevated body temperature during screening, those individuals should be further examined with a medical device to verify if they have a fever.
Flir products see Infrared energy and measure surface temperature differences only which can be an indication of an elevated temperature and an issue with that individual. The FLIR camera is an industrial camera and when used in the “screening mode” it can identify individuals in a population that show higher than average temperature in relation to the rest of the sampled population.
We recommend the Exx and T series model cameras for screening as these have a “Screening mode” built into the FLIR camera and are the easiest to deploy solutions for Elevated Body Temperature Screening.
Follow this link to a short video showing how screening works.
Elevated Body Screening (EBT)
The following links are “How To” videos for setting up Exx and T-Series EBT Screening Mode on camera
T-Series: Screening Mode Setup
Exx-Series: Screening Mode Setup
As you can see its very straight forward and easy to use. We recommend the camera runs for around 10 minutes to stabilize in that environment before you start to screen people.
Medical Thermography experts have traditionally chosen 320x240 pixel or higher resolutions and a camera that supports focusable optics. This starts with the FLIR E75 and T530 cameras. These conditions are not met by the FLIR Ex series, Cx series or consumer grade cameras such as the FLIR One for iPhone or Android phones.
This largely has to do with resolution and a concept called "spot size". Experts have confirmed that there is a correlation between the eye canthus temperature (tear duct area) and core temperature. The tear duct is a small area and you need to put enough pixels on it to make a good measurement. The lower resolution cameras with fixed focus aren't optimized for this task. Even with the recommended cameras, you'll find that maximum reported temperature is a function of distance, so you'll want to set your alarm limits and do your screening at a fixed distance. Higher resolution and a 15 deg field of view lens will give you better stand-off distance and ability to detect smaller temperature differences. If you're routing the HDMI output to an external monitor at a guard desk, the image from the higher resolution cameras also looks much better.
The product pages for the recommended cameras, and with resolution and prices are shown below.
T series tiltable Optical Block Form Factor is more ergonomic for handheld use and fits on tripod better.
T530, 320x240 pixels. $17,780.00 + GST
T540, 464x348 pixels. $24,730.00 + GST
E75, 320x240 pixels. $11,400.00 + GST
E85, 384x288 pixels. $14,410.00 + GST
E95, 464x384 pixels. $16,450.00 + GST
The analysis and alarming are fully contained on the camera. The only other infrastructure needed is a tripod or means to mount the camera, assuming that it's to be used in a fixed location, and possibly an external monitor for people to see what’s going on.
If using an external monitor, you'll want to purchase a USB-C HDMI/Power splitter so that you can see video and power the camera at the same time.
FLIR Thermal Imaging Cameras