Things are anything but normal, considering the world is dealing with the same pandemic at the same time. Industries have had to develop creative ways of getting things back to normal for people and businesses despite apprehension. It is inevitable; things have to start operating again if our society is to survive. One government agency seemed to be ahead of the game, The Defense Department. They have used thermal imaging for decades. Today, it is being used as a way to detect COVID-19. Thermal cameras use heat to form an image based on temperature. With the help of the U.S. Army, who led the initiative, businesses began using thermal cameras to reopen. Once they realized that the same equipment that could check the military personnel for elevated body temperatures, they realized that it could be used to also check civilians for elevated body temperatures. These prove a lot more effective than the hand-held thermometers that you may notice people holding as they screen patients and customers. This is because the thermal imaging equipment allows the operator to be at a safe distance from the person being screened. No physical contact is necessary. This means that more people can be screened at a faster pace. Temperature is measured from up to 8 feet away with the use of an infrared sensor that sits on a tripod. This process makes the person who is being screened and the administrator feel safer. Top Lock Locksmiths and Security implements body temperature detection cameras.
Other industries have long used thermal imaging to perform their jobs, such as firefighters. With the aid of the thermal imaging camera, they can see through smoke, which allows them to find fire hot spots so that they can properly aim the water. They can also see which areas should be avoided whenever there is no visibility due to smoke. It can also help them find someone who is trapped in the fire. DOD vehicle mechanics and aircraft mechanics will also use this equipment to identify faulty mechanical and electrical parts without ripping the engine apart. Its normal temperatures are compared with the thermal camera images to figure out if and where the problem may be. The Coast Guard also uses thermal imaging cameras to find terrorists and smugglers who may be hiding near ports and other waterways. The images produce high-quality results regardless of the weather or how dark it is. No doubt if the military and other important government agencies see fit to use the thermal imaging camera, why shouldn’t you.
Thermal cameras are certainly the way of the future and it looks like they are here to stay. They are said to be the fastest-growing segment in security today and are said to be worth millions. Even if the pandemic should end sometime soon, chances are that thermal cameras won’t be going anywhere. With video surveillance camera sales are going down, there is room for something else that is innovative and that is sure to benefit us now on into the future. Those manufacturers who can respond to the demand now, are setting them up for success very shortly. Many manufacturers can see the benefit of the body temperature detection cameras and recognize it as a must-have for the future. If this pandemic should end tomorrow, there is always the chance that another one is just around the corner. Having the equipment in place can help keep things functioning.
Many companies are indeed expressing an interest in a fast and efficient way of screening visitors, contractors, and employees with an elevated temperature, generally above 100.4°F, as they enter their business. They are being looked at as a possible return-to-work solution that keeps everyone safe and allows them to carry on their business as usual. The businesses that have taken the time to learn how the thermal cameras can be of use to them have discovered that they can offer some measure of protection. While they are a welcome sight, they have also created some confusion. Up until now, most businesses haven’t really had a reason to explore thermal imaging.
Only a few FDA-approved thermal cameras and software solutions are in use today. In most cases, they serve a small market but the demand is growing and so are the markets that are using them. The installation of this type of equipment can be expensive but based on the market that it serves; it can offer a significant return on investment. The cost will vary based on the industry it is used in, the environment, and how it is installed. There are some great options for commercial applications that offer scalable and frictionless temperature detection. They help to deter visitors, contractors, and employees who do not feel well from coming into the workplace for fear of being turned away as they are screened. It will enhance the safety of others by preventing transmission of the virus into the workplace and spreading amongst others. The temperature detection equipment can be the start of the development for additional screening and possible removal of sick individuals.
In today’s volatile environment, there are so many misconceptions that you may not know what to believe. Some really influential people are trying to capitalize on the current crises by taking advantage of those who are eager to get things back to normal. What may be right for someone else may not be right for you? Regardless of how eager someone might do get things back the way they were, the reality is that things may never get back the way that they were, which is why everyone must be willing to adapt. Any business that is interested in thermal imaging cameras should understand what it does and clearly identify ways that it can be of use to them. Currently, there is more demand than there are imaging cameras. This gives most people the time needed to perform their due-diligence to determine what might be best suited to their needs, short-term and long-term.
While thermal imaging cameras are extremely useful today, there are other mitigation procedures that a company can consider, such as the use of access control to track the possibility of exposure to COVID-19, changes to procedures and policies, the use of remote tools that can effectively manage a facility that is sitting vacant, and monitor workforce health. You must have the correct information so that you can make a well-informed decision about which COVID-19 mitigation tool you’ll rely on. In some cases, depending on the size of your organization, it may be a good idea to use several mitigation methods.
As much as we would like to find a vaccine or a cure for the current pandemic, it just hasn’t been found yet. This is why there are so many people busy trying to come up with ways to help us navigate through our new normal. Again, there are a lot of assumptions out there about what can help protect you against COVID-19. Thermal imaging does not cure COVID-19 nor does it detect a person with the virus. It simply serves to identify someone who may have a fever and thus may have the virus but no other symptoms are presenting themselves. There is a misconception that this equipment will find someone who has the virus and this is not true. It can detect someone who may potentially spread the disease without knowing that they have the virus. In some cases, some did not realize that they had an elevated temperature until they were scanned. After finding out, they have later found out that the elevated body temperature as an indicator of a much larger problem, COVID-19.
Hospitals are not exempt. They require more screening than now more than ever. Some hospitals use more than one thermal imaging camera system at an entry point to further protect the patients who visit the facility. Some rely on a monitored system, that provides a color-coded. If the temperature reads higher than 100 degrees or higher, they are required to step to the side for another type of screening. Despite someone having a higher than normal temperature, this doesn’t have to stop them from receiving visitors, as the systems allow them the efficiency that they need to continue operating. The hospitals have found the thermal camera very effective. Rather than using staff to check visitors’ temperature manually, they simply walk through the thermal imaging access point without stopping unless a higher than normal temperature is detected.
There has been some guidance from the Centers for Disease Control about containing COVID-19 in assisted living facilities, for health care providers, and other at-risk facilities, which advises them to install temperature check equipment. The Food and Drug Administration has relaxed some of its regulations regarding the type of thermal cameras that can be used so that more access to technology could be obtained. In March of 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released new guidance for temperature checks in the workplace. It is becoming clear that there is something to be said about the effectiveness of this equipment. While no one would claim that it is 100% full proof, they would agree that it offers some significant degree of accuracy, which is why many businesses see the benefit of having it installed.
While the equipment can detect elevated temperatures, it cannot detect other symptoms that someone may have that may be related to COVID-19. Unfortunately, some have been led to believe that if they are asymptomatic that the thermal imaging camera would detect it. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Despite its inability to detect everyone who may potentially have COVID-19, having this type of screening is sure to give employees and visitors a sense of security. They may feel that since such precautions are being taken on their behalf that they are safe from the potential harm of contracting the virus. Some would argue that it gives people a false sense of security, however, this is up to the individual as to how they will respond to the use of thermal imaging.
Thanks to the innovative minds behind the thermal imaging camera, we can now begin to adjust to our new normal, no matter how short or how long it might be. Surprisingly, this type of invention that has been in place for decades is now being deployed to various businesses to ensure the safety of others. Even though it has been here the whole time, it wasn’t until the states began to open up that thermal imaging was recommended by the FDA and CDC as a way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Not everyone is aware of this type of equipment and they are still exhausting their resources by standing and physically taking the temperature of everyone who walks through their doors. This is not only time-consuming but it is inefficient, which is why it is in their best interest to at least learn about thermal cameras and how they can benefit them.
No one could have predicted that we would be in this spot today but we are and we have to make the most of it. Tons of new inventions are coming out every day but the ones that are practical and proven effective are the ones that are in use today, such as the thermal imaging camera that is so widely used throughout the world to help jump-start the economy. Research proves that we are better off with it than without it. With the variety of thermal imaging equipment available, there is something sure to suit the needs of everyone who needs to perform this type of mitigation. Again this is not a perfect solution but it is a practical solution for protecting others from COVID-19. Thermal imaging isn’t something that is going to change the current situation but it is an invention that is sure to make it easier for us to function.