Public officials are turning to a popular industrial technology, infrared (IR) non-contact temperature measurement, in their efforts to identify infected people and stop the spread of infectious disease, including the H1N1 influenza A or swine flu.
Using portable infrared thermal imagers from Fluke Australia , airport, transit, public health officials and others can scan and measure the skin temperature of large numbers of people. Those who show temperatures higher than normal can then be isolated for further evaluation to prevent the spread of disease.
All objects emit infrared energy, including the human body. Infrared non-contact thermal imagers measure surface temperature, including the temperature of skin, which is displayed in colour on a thermal imager or line scanner. Individuals with fevers often have elevated skin temperature. When it reads a higher-than-normal temperature on a person, the thermal imager can trigger an alarm or light.
Fluke thermal imagers incorporate Fluke IR Fusion, which integrates infrared and visible-light images. IR Fusion helps the operator to determine where in the scene a heat source is located, so that individuals with elevated skin temperature can be easily located for further screening. Temperature differences as small as 0.05ºC can be detected.
While infrared scanners and thermal imagers are designed for industrial use, there are locations where this technology can be beneficial to public health. The infrared scanners and thermal imagers available from Fluke Australia can be used in the following applications:
- airports, seaports, bus and train stations
- hospitals and schools
- factories and office buildings
- stadium events and conventions
- Non-contact screening, which reduces the chance of spreading infection or disease
- Fast temperature readings, which means that large groups of people can be screened quickly
- IR Fusion technology that provides screeners with a visible light image (digital picture) of the crowd so that individuals with elevated body surface temperature are easy to identify, making screening quicker and efficient
- Infrared temperature measurement, which is safe and non-invasive, so there is no risk to public safety or privacy
- The ability to screen people while moving, so travel is not delayed