Thermal cameras used to detect potentially infected people

Thermal technology is being rolled out across the country that will be able to quickly identify if someone may be at risk of being ill.

As restrictions continue to ease there will be a growing number of people out in public spaces, on transport and in workplaces.

While returning to normal life is what Australians are striving for, it also comes with the risk of coming into contact with someone who may be infected with COVID-19.

Thermal imaging cameras are being set up in some Australian hospitals to monitor those who enter the building and pinpoint anyone who has an elevated body temperature and therefore may be ill.

The technology could also be effectively used in places like airports, hotels, shopping centres, workplaces and nursing homes.

Gary Hickey from Hikvision, the company that creates the cameras, told Nine that the cameras will likely be rolled out “everywhere”.

“I think we will see them everywhere pretty much. Aged care, independent living, schools, hospitals, pubs, clubs,” he said.

The cameras can scan multiple people at a time and an alarm will sound if a person’s body temperature is recorded to above a certain level.

The technology is reportedly accurate to half a degree and the cameras can be wall-mounted, placed on tripods or even used as a handheld device.

“Temperature is an important indicator of physical health. In many scenarios, people with abnormal temperatures could have a health issue,” the Hikvision website reads.

“To have a proper effect, it’s crucial that this is detected and monitored quickly and accurately. But traditional methods of temperature measurement are time-consuming and can put operators at risk.

“At times like these, a non-contact temperature screening solution can provide an efficient alternative, reducing manual testing time and the safety risk to those involved in detection.”

The company uses AI technology to ensure non-human heat sources like hot coffee don’t trigger false alarms.

The technology is designed to allow for “rapid and safe initial screening in public areas”.

St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney has already installed the thermal technology at its entrances to monitor the temperature of visitors.

Anyone who has a temperature above 37.5C is stopped.

“If they’re simply a visitor we will turn them around and ask them to go and see their GP,” Todd McEwan from the hospital told Nine.

Airports, shopping centres, hospitals and workplaces across the world have already installed similar thermal cameras as more people start to return to their daily lives.

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