Security systems integrators are constantly bombarded by manufacturers touting the “latest and greatest” technologies that have application in helping to resolve trending difficulties. In 2020 a primary focus of these manufacturers has been Fever Detection to facilitate safe & healthy building environments.
I recently sat through an exhaustive webinar where fever detection camera and software systems were discussed. I learned that there are over 125 manufacturers globally that produce products in this space. Certainly, many of these offerings have merit but caution should be exercised in vetting a solution that meets your objectives. There are many facilities that would immediately benefit from this technology now and if I had to choose a product line, I would tend to gravitate toward the market leaders in our current vendor partner portfolio, that support such. It appears that many offerings share similar components and all have their individual strengths and weaknesses. Please allow me to walk you through this technology.
Example: Typical Medical Facility
These systems are designed to operate at key defined entrances, that I refer to as Fever Detection Portals (FDP) for all incoming patients, guests, employees, service personnel, etc. A large facility may have 3- or more of these FDPs to monitor. The equipment required can vary between certain manufacturers and their inherent technology. A typical set up would be as illustrated below.
Here we see the commonly used “Black Body”, a heat emitter used in conjunction with the Thermal Camera as a reference point to measure a person’s forehead skin temperature. The information is collected by a proprietary software application that can integrate with a visitor management and/or security management system (SMS). Based upon the policies in effect, an individual registering a higher than normal temperature can be further processed under controlled conditions. Keep in mind that some of these offerings may require the removal of eye ware. Most will function properly while using a face mask but each have their own little idiosyncrasies that would need to be evaluated prior to procurement.
Another emerging technology enjoying success is “Inner Canthus” scanning, here the temperature information is gathered from either corner of the eye where the upper & lower eyelids meet. According to experts, this method is highly accurate. This solution uses the Black Box heat emitter in a similar manner as shown in the illustration above.
Due to the recent emergence in popularity of these solutions, there are very few of these systems that have native integration capabilities with the major SMS software manufacturers. Many of these non-native integration products will require considerable configuration and programming to unify these applications if required. Almost all have their own standalone software client stations. Native integrations will often require additional software modules and upgrades to the latest versions supported by the compatible SMS manufacturer. The primary benefit to a native integration is speedier processing through the FDP, especially during a shift change with a lot of throughput. As an example: Joe, the hospital’s maintenance engineer has a card holder record profile in the security management system’s database, when Joe arrives for work that morning, he scans his credential at the guard desk and pauses at the FDP. The whole process is managed electronically in seconds and without the need for human assistance, which will allow Joe to go about his routine unrestricted. Should Joe register a higher than normal temperature, a virtual command to disallow Joe’s access rights to all the facilities doors is generated and an administrator along with Joe are notified of the condition. In the case of visitors, incoming patients, vendors, etc. system administrators/users will move through the normal in gestation processes with the addition of the fever scan. Alerts can be directed to the appropriate personnel by multiple means (email, SMS) and door access can be disabled temporarily until the condition is cleared.
There are two issues of major importance to consider:
- The development of your specific policies as they apply to your organization with considerations for HIPPA compliance, general discretion and courtesy, all of which should carry over to the establishment of roles and procedures for the front-line guards/receptionists (system users).
- Engage a qualified and experienced systems integrator to design and engineer the system that suits your needs and culture.
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