Can fever screening systems or scanners identify people carrying the COVID-19 virus?
Fever screening systems or fever scanners are capable of picking up hyperthermic individuals who have a high skin temperature and therefore a high probability of having a fever. However, determining absolute core body temperature requires testing with a medical device for confirmation.
Can a person carrying COVID-19 coronavirus pass a fever screening or scanning without being detected?
Yes, fever screening and fever scanner systems only detect persons displaying febrile (fever) symptoms. If a COVID-19 coronavirus carrier is not displaying any fever-type symptoms, the system will not be able to detect them.
Why do I need to implement mass fever screening systems when I can ask passengers to self-declare if they have fever?
Trials and field experiences have shown that properly implemented mass fever screening operations consistently pick up a higher number of febrile individuals compared to the self-declare method.
Some fever screening systems or fever scanners claim to be able to show core body temperature – they have temperature readings on their displays.
Many “fever screening systems” and “fever scanner systems” on the market are actually modified/rebadged/repackaged industrial thermal cameras. One of the standard functions on such industrial systems is ‘hot spot tracking’. They will track the hottest spot on the screen (not necessarily human). However, there is no scientific relevance to this feature. In fact, in clinical trials, research papers and real life experiences, these readings have been proven to be highly misleading.
Accuracy is essential and the systems from Fever Screen Technologies are the most accurate available internationally. They operate to a minimum screening threshold by indicating targeted core body temperature (e.g. mild fever @37.6degC to high fever at 38degC). Our systems will then automatically re-calibrate to target individuals in that temperature group.
How do I find out the core body temperature of an individual picked up by the fever screening system?
In most cases, core body temperature will be determined by an ear thermometer. Best practice related to thermal imaging for human temperature screening requires secondary screening using a clinical temperature measurement method.
If I need a thermometer, what is the point of deploying a mass fever screening system?
A mass fever screening system is able to filter out higher risk individuals for secondary screening either entering a building or venue individually or in large groups. Testing every individual with an ear thermometer would be very time-intensive, disruptive and unnecessarily invasive. With screening, only a small number of individuals are likely to be diverted for further evaluation.
The thermal camera I own has a temperature resolution of 0.1degC and the sensitivity of 50mk. Surely this is sufficient for human screening?
Not necessarily. Temperature resolution only indicates how many decimal points the camera can display, and the sensitivity (NETD) figure is a detected, theoretical, noise level. Confident human screening requires accuracy. In most reputable industrial based systems, the accuracy is stated in the specifications as “+/- 2degC or 2%, whichever is higher”. At 37~38degC range, the +/-2degC applies. Considering core body temperature difference between healthy and a high fever subject is 1degC, such systems are clearly not suitable.
Other than fever screening hardware, what else do I need to put in place for an effective fever screening operation?
Acquiring proper hardware is a good start, however, an effective screening programme requires formulating and implementing correct workflow and operator training. In New Zealand advice and training is provided through Fever Screen Technologies.
Please don't hesitate to contact us for more information.