The coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, bats, pangolin and cattle. The viruses commonly cause mild to moderate respiratory illness. Sometimes, the animal strain of coronaviruses infects people and cause community transmission such as MERs-CoV, SARS-CoV and the most recent virus, SARS-CoV-2.
The COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-COV-2 coronavirus is initially detected in Wuhan, China. Majority of the infected people exhibit mild symptoms include fever, dry cough and fatigue, while some people, commonly with chronic, long-term condition and lowered immune systems, develop more severe symptoms such as shortness of breath and pneumonia.
As the rate of infection is alarming, the COVID-19 is officially declared as pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020. Since then, many countries have implemented stricter travel measures to prevent and help to curb the spread of the viruses. One of the methods is by scanning the body temperature of crowd to detect those that develop high temperature.
Micro-Epsilon, leading sensors manufacturers in Germany, recently announced the application of using their miniature thermal imaging camera, TIM 40, as fast, non-contact fever inspection system. The system includes an infrared camera and extensive software packages which can be easily installed and setup. This compact sensor can also be easily moved, if required. Users can implement security measure such as password protected access to prevent unauthorized changes.
The TIM40 compact thermal imaging camera has a motorized focus function which enable the users to focus on the target via remote control. This industrial camera with 382 x 288 pixels resolution has measurement range from -20C to 900C with excellent temperature resolution of 0.1C to detect even the smallest change in temperature. This USB-powered thermal imager also has fast frame rate of 80Hz for monitoring fast and transient change in thermal processes.
As the TIM40 comes with the extensive software package with software development kit (SDK), the software can be programmed to discreetly single out people whose skin temperature exceeds the predefined value. It can also be connected with an alarm system to alert engineers and operators. The visual alarm gives the possibility to identify and isolate the suspected person from their companions so that a medical examination can be done. The software can also be programmed to automatically take a snapshot of Infrared images when the person triggers the alarm.
This fever screening system is firstly proposed as monitoring tool in airports. However, there is also a possibility to implement the same system in the shopping centers, supermarkets, banks, pharmacies as well as hospitals. This system can be put in place in those places to prevent the person with suspected symptoms accessing these public areas. Traditional handheld infrared temperature sensor can also be used as an alternative. However, the TIM40 offer possibility for remote monitoring and limit interaction with the crowd, which further helps in controlling the spread of the disease.
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