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The Camera Never Lies

I can hear you just about to break into tune singing the Bucks Fizz lyrics! But did they know that the opening lines of their 1982 hit song would have such relevance in 2020 – “ I’ve been checking you up…I’ve been tracking you down”

As lockdowns ease, thermal imaging cameras are popping up in all sorts of public places to assess the state of people’s health and whilst these are not the vaccine or the silver bullet to seeing this deadly virus off, it does offer some early warnings that may help businesses get back to some kind of normality.

We have access to an array of devices that can be easily installed into your workplace, but for the benefit of openness we have some observations and answers to some questions that you may have so that you can see how these devices can be integrated into your workplace or for customer flow management.

For further information please contact our Solutions teams.

01782 269494 or support@albionbusiness.com

Have a great week and Stay Safe.

Richard Brindley
Founder

Please take a minute to read our  “Thermal Camera and Customer Flow” guide, which you can download here..click on the hand.

A Quick Guide To Thermal Cameras 

What do thermal imaging cameras do?

Using infrared technology, thermal cameras detect radiating heat from a body – usually from the forehead – and then estimate core body temperature. These cameras are an extremely powerful tool, often deployed by fire fighters to track smouldering embers and police to search for out-of-sight suspects.

But they are not designed to be medical devices. So how useful are they in the current pandemic?

They can give a reasonable measure of skin temperature, to within half a degree – but that’s not the same as body temperature.

However according to a leading professor of medical imaging science “These devices, in general, are less accurate than medical device thermometers like those you stick in the ear.”

What is normal body temperature?

About 37C (98.6F). A high temperature is usually considered to be 38C or over. But normal temperature can vary from person to person and change during the day. It can also fluctuate during a woman’s monthly cycle.

Taking an accurate reading of core body temperature isn’t easy. Although it can be measured on the forehead, in the mouth, the ear and the armpit, the most accurate way is to take a rectal reading.

Body temperature

  • 37°C(98.6°F) normal body temperature
  • 38°C(100.4°F) or above, high temperature/fever

Source: NHS

Do thermal cameras detect coronavirus?

No, they only measure temperature. A high temperature or fever is just one common symptom of the virus. Others include nausea, headaches, fatigue and loss of taste or smell. But not everyone with the virus gets a high temperature and not everyone with a high temperature is infected with coronavirus.

So thermal cameras alone will miss infected people with other symptoms or no symptoms at all – known as false negatives. They will also identify people unwell with a fever for another reason – known as false positives.

So are thermal cameras useful?

On its own, temperature screening “may not be very effective” says the World Health Organization. Cameras have to be set up correctly and take account of ambient temperature.

What if I’m wearing a face mask or covering?

“Heat radiating from the skin will likely be impacted by wearing face masks,” according to leading scientists.

That’s why most temperature measurements are based on the forehead, which is usually exposed.

Where can I expect to be temperature tested?

Thermal scanners are now in place at some UK airports – including Bournemouth. Temperature screening is being trialled for some passengers at Heathrow, while Manchester Airport says equipment is also being tested – but results will not be communicated to passengers or “used to influence whether a customer can travel”. Portsmouth international ferry port has also installed a thermal scanner to screen departing passengers.

Schools are deploying hand-held laser thermometers to check children each morning. And some employers are looking at introducing staff-testing in workplaces.

At work, do I have to submit to a temperature test?

Under UK employment law, individuals must agree before an employer can temperature-screen members of staff. Some work contracts will already allow for this type of test to be carried out, by so-called “implied consent”.

If employees do not consent – and there is no pre-agreed policy covering the situation – then taking someone’s temperature is unlawful, says the professional body for HR and people development. Employers must also handle the medical information they gather fairly and transparently – according to the Information Commissioner.

Call us today to discuss ways to help get you back in the office and those wheels if industry turning again.

Call 01782 269494

Email support@albionbusiness.com

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