Saturday, 18 July 2020
Kentix SmartXcan fever screening system
The Kentix SmartXcan enables the measurement of body temperature in seconds and completely contact-free.
What is it?
The idea is that you have the device inside the entrance to your building and any visitors, staff etc. will scan themselves on entry before proceeding further. If their body temperature is above a certain threshold then a visual and audible alarm sounds and that person must then leave (and would probably be recommended to self-isolate).
I feel that this will play an important part in controlling the spread of COVID-19 as we learn to live with the virus in the longer term. I also feel that people’s attitudes towards the spread of illness will change forever and people will be more aware of bringing any illness into a workplace such as influenza.
The device is a compact unit in plastic casing, there are no buttons on it for normal usage, so it is designed to be zero touch to avoid spreading germs. It contains a number of sensors used to take a reading. The main component is a thermal imaging sensor, there are also a distance sensor, ambient temperature and humidity sensors.
How it works…
How it works is, you hold your head roughly 30cm in front of the device, the distance sensor then activates the thermal imaging sensor and a thermal reading is taken.
So there is no need for anyone to touch the device in operation at all. This is combined with the ambient temperature & humidity and ran through Kentix’s algorithms to work out a body temperature. It recognizes the area around the eyes to do this, so it is getting a body temperature rather than a skin surface temperature. In my testing, it is very accurate when compared with a digital mouth thermometer.
If the reading is below a certain pre-set temperature, then the LEDs on the front of the device light up green and a single loud beep sounds, you are OK to go. If the temperature is slightly above this level, some red LEDs will appear along with a prolonged and repeating beeping, if the temperature is above the highest set threshold then the alarm is more insistent. The device comes with sensible default settings for these levels, but they are fully adjustable.
I don’t think fever/temperature screening is the be-all and end-all of protecting work places and public places from COVID-19 but I do feel that it is an important part of it and this device when coupled with other measures can help us get back to some level of normality.
I know there are concerns with any device that is taking any kind of image of people, however this is fully GDPR compliant in that it is not obtaining any identifying information at all. That is unless you are using the RFID version and intentionally logging temperatures of staff, it is then up to you to handle that data correctly. It’s worth mentioning that the device doesn’t actually store the thermal images, it just displays them temporarily in the web interface. As you can see from above, it is not possible to identify a person from these.
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