Bytronic Automation launches thermal imaging device to help businesses fight COVID-19

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Bytronic Automation has launched a new thermal imaging device to help businesses reopen and fight the spread of COVID-19.

The new elevated body temperature (EBT) detection system measures body temperature by scanning the area around the tear duct and is accurate to within half a degree centigrade, meeting existing international standards.

This compares to other devices on the market which can have a margin for error of up to three degrees, meaning the risk of false readings could be up to six times greater.

High temperatures automatically trigger an alert, either on screen or through a light or sound alarm – with that result immediately recorded to a database, giving a highly accurate indication of a possible fever or underlying infection.

The EBT system can be installed at existing barriers or building entrances and is fully compliant with existing ISO and FDA regulations.

Dr John Dunlop, founder of Bytronic Automation and the man behind Hotspot thermal imaging technology, said: “The launch of this system is one small, but vital, measure to help combat the spread of disease and get businesses and transport hubs back open.

“We’ve combined Bytronic’s HotSpot software with our experience of vision systems and thermal inspection to provide a screening solution that’s highly accurate, meets all international standards and doesn’t require a constant human presence.”

To meet all agreed international standards for accuracy, the Bytronic EBT system scans the area around the tear duct, where the most accurate indication of internal body temperature can be found.

It compares human body temperature to a fixed ‘black body’ temperature emitter within the same camera shot that is constantly re-calibrated, giving an accuracy level of between 0.3 and 0.5 degrees centigrade.

For accuracy, the EBT system will only scan one face at a time, not groups or crowds, and with glasses or eye coverings removed.

It must be used with a high-resolution Infrared camera with a minimum of 340 x 240 pixels, which can be included.

Bytronic Automation has supplied thermal imaging and automation technology to some of the world’s biggest companies, including Amazon, Coca-Cola, Jaguar Land Rover, P&G and Unilever.

In an open letter to industry, published this week, Dr Dunlop warned that the margin for error in ‘off-the-shelf’ skin temperature software currently being rolled out across transport hubs, hospitality and offices could be up to six times’ greater than existing international standards allow.

Dr Dunlop said: “Checking temperature readings of crowds of people tells you something and nothing at the same time. Simple skin temperature readings may detect a person with a high fever, but factors such as exercise, clothing or even the weather could generate inaccurate readings.

“The margin for error could be up to three degrees, which in medical terms is the difference between good health and a serious cause for concern.

“To get an accurate reading, you must be able to measure the temperature around the tear ducts, the area of the body that is closest to internal body temperature, and for at least 1-2 seconds.”