6 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Thermal Camera for Body Temperature Screening

6 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Thermal Camera for Body Temperature Screening

Thermal body cameras are taking the chore out of temperature screenings during COVID-19. But before you rush out to buy one for your business, take a look at these six things to know first:

1. Know how a thermal camera works.

Thermal cameras detect radiated infrared energy from a person, then convert that energy into a temperature reading. The temperature readings are displayed as colors, each of which represent a temperature. This is why you might see multiple colors on the same person or object, as different areas may be different temperatures. The FDA requires that all thermographic temperature kiosk systems are within +/- 0.9 F degrees to be considered a viable option to screen users with possible detectable fevers.

2. Know what a thermal camera can detect.

Thermal cameras can only measure skin surface temperatures. It doesn’t diagnose fevers, illnesses, or infections. Rather, it can only be considered a screening tool for skin surface temperatures.

3. Know the difference between manual temperature measuring vs. automated kiosk 

Temperature checking at the door has become a fairly standard practice for businesses and organizations. There are two common ways companies are going about it: manual temperature checking using a hand-held forehead scanner or automated checks like the RapidScreen temperature kiosk.

The question isn’t whether we should be doing temperature checks. Rather, it’s how safe and effective the process is. If you’re using manual methods or honor systems, you might want to rethink your strategy. Here are three reasons why, learn more.

4. Know the temperature error and environmental factors.

Temperature readers are sensitive to sunlight and direct heat which may deliver ineffective results. Because of this, a kiosk is usually only ideal for indoor settings like offices with climate control. In other words, it’s not something you want to bring to an outdoor construction site.

5. Know the difference between black body vs. population.

There are two ways to set up your thermal camera measurements: black body vs population.

With a black body reference, users can increase the temperature accuracy to +/- one degree. The black body device would need to be positioned behind the individual, so this does not make it an ideal setup for some offices that are trying to reduce the footprint of the device. Black body devices are typically used with larger mass detection systems that still need an active employee monitoring each guest as they pass the camera.

Population reference uses a relative comparison of baseline skin surface temperatures. This is typically used for automated temperature kiosk systems.

Both of these are acceptable setups but may require manual correction to account for external factors that may impact the body’s natural thermoregulation.

6. Know which thermal camera solution you can trust.

More than 30 new thermal camera “companies” have formed in the first few months of COVID. They’re trend chasers and want to capitalize on the next big thing with no track record or in-depth knowledge of what they’re selling. 

Look for how long a company has been in business, and whether their products have been successfully used in other outbreak situations, like Swine Flu. Also, steer clear of any solution that claims to “crowd scan,” as the required pixel count for accurate readings makes this impossible.

Before you invest in a Thermal Scanning Kiosk, there are other less technical requirements you need to consider, ready this to learn more. Our spinTouch RapidScreen has a proven track record of excellency and is FDA- and CDC-recommended, learn more today!

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