Contactless Covid Fever Screening
Recent outbreak of COVID-19 has shocked everyone. Community screening is the most important aspect to reduce this disease spread. Identifying likely infected people correctly helps in controlling the spread well. Among the most common symptoms seen in likely COVID positive patients are fever, dry throat and possible sneezing. According to CDC, all visitors to a hospital, a public place or any other institution should be passively screened for symptoms of fever and acute respiratory illness before entering any facility.
Currently, in India, infrared forehead thermometers are used to measure the temperature of people in airports, hospitals and other public places – and is referred to as thermal screening. This method of measuring the temperature is prone to manual errors, time consuming and does not scale for large population. It is also risky to the security personnel who perform the screening. Just measuring increased temperature of the person is also not a sufficient signal of COVID19 infection.
NIRAMAI has recently developed an AI-enabled solution for automatic detection of Fever and COVID19 respiratory symptoms. It is aimed towards enabling automated screening of groups of people to detect likely COVID19 infected people by checking for fever plus associated respiratory diseases. This solution uses NIRAMAI’s most awarded novel AI solution called Thermalytix™ (Artificial Intelligence Algorithms over thermal images). The above solution can be monitored automatically by a simply skilled health-worker, thus reducing the pressure on clinical testing at public places.
How does it work
The solution is deployed in public places and offices. A High Resolution Thermal Camera is installed at the entrance of a building. NIRAMAI Computer Vision based application analysis live thermal streams to identify people’s face, forehead, nose and other key elements that can show COVID symptoms. Facial Temperature and respiratory patterns of all people walking into a facility are measured remotely and a local alarm is raised. That person can undergo a confirmatory test of health vitals before sending for a full COVID19 diagnosis.
The solution is available in two flavors:
- Single Person Test (SP) : This affordable solution uses a low resolution thermal imager and hence requires people to walkin one-by-one, stand in front of the thermal sensor for 5 secs and move on. The application automatically checks temperature of the face and generates a log of all people screened and statistics for the day.
- Multi Person Passive Test (MP) : This is a passive test where a high resolution thermal sensing application observes entry and exit of people to a building. Multiple people can simultaneously walk in and it silently measures the temperatures of all. There is no interruption to the flow or activity of people in this mode.
Advantages of Niramai FeverTest
How is this different from forehead thermal scanners?
Thermal Screening using forehead infrared thermometers is not suitable for group screening and has the following disadvantages over NIRAMAI solution:
- Close contact measurement provokes fear of cross-contamination across people being screening and also increases risk to the person conducting the screening as social distancing is not maintained.
- Forehead thermometers are error prone as the temperature measurement depends upon the distance from forehead and where on forehead it is pointed to.
- The manual process is time consuming, labor intensive and can cause long queues when used in areas with a high volume of people, such as at airports, railway stations and other public areas
- Ensuring that ALL the people in a crowded public place are screened is difficult. Some people may miss screening when forming a single line is not possible.
- This manual method is also not conducive to centralized screening data analysis and evaluation of positive statistics.
How is this different from thermal cameras installed in some airports?
Using thermal camera hardware makes screening non-contact and passive. The thermal camera hardware provides live stream of thermal video and sometimes even alarms when a threshold temperature is exceeded. However, it needs constant vigilance by a person to look for people with high temperature.
Over and above the advantages of the above thermal camera based screening, NIRAMAI solution includes an AI enabled software for automated analysis of the thermal stream. The advantages of NIRAMAI Automated FeverTest are:
- The solution based on thermal imaging measures skin temperature automatically by using infrared cameras that detects the infrared energy emitted by people and objects from 3 feet to 10 feet or more.
- Thermal cameras can measure the temperature of multiple people at once, especially beneficial in busy public areas.
- Contactless measurement avoids cross-contamination and risk to the screening person.
- Reduced psychological impact as it is a passive process and does not provoke fear and negative emotions.
- Using NIRAMAI AI solution, enables centralized data collection, face recognition and automated alarms when suspicious people are recognized.
- In addition to a fixed temperature threshold, the solution detects relative temperature abnormality and learns the threshold automatically, enabling the screening to work irrespective of the environmental temperature.
- In addition to elevated body temperature, thermal distribution on different parts of the face are done to determine potential respiratory abnormalities as well.
- Daily statistics of number of people screened and how many of them were suspicious is provided.