Temperature Screening-The Technology Behind the Hype
By Alexandra Serban
August 27, 2020
Amid other safety precautions, temperature screening is being included in safety protocols for employees returning to work, be it in offices, factories, airports, distribution centers or other commercial buildings.
But how does temperature screening ensure accurate results, stability, operational efficiency and data privacy? This article explains how the technology works to help keep people and places safe.
Why temperature screening?
Typical screening solutions request personnel to self-declare symptoms associated with diseases or involve manual temperature measurement of any person entering a facility using a hand-held instrument.
While this provides a degree of confidence that individuals with a temperature are being identified and prevented from entering, it requires a dedicated resource to carry out the measurements, and for that person to be near the subject, potentially breaching safe distancing guidelines.
On the other hand, thermal imaging solutions help facilitate social distancing.
Honeywell has recently launched Honeywell ThermoRebellion™, a temperature screening solution that incorporates advanced, infrared imaging technology and artificial intelligence algorithms to conduct remote, non-invasive, preliminary screening of individuals entering a facility. Those individuals exhibiting elevated skin temperature can then be triaged, allowing for confirmation of elevated temperature with a traditional thermometer.
The core hardware consists of an infrared camera, plus proprietary technology.
The terminology, explained
Temperature monitoring solution – a system that measures skin temperature and alerts when anomalies arise. Individuals pass in front of a high-resolution, thermal imaging camera. Their skin temperature is automatically detected and displayed on a monitor.
Remote - Once operational, the initial screening solution requires no user intervention.
Non-invasive - The equipment does not interfere with the individual’s body.
Preliminary screening - The preliminary screening precedes a second round of measurement with a traditional thermometer, which should be conducted on any subject whose skin temperature exceeds the established threshold.
Infrared imaging (IR) technology - The technology isn’t new - it was first discovered in the 1800s and was originally designed for detecting gas leaks and other hotspots in industrial or mechanical equipment. Now it’s commonly used in night vision devices such as lowlight cameras to illuminate an area of interest. In this case, it is used to see “infrared” instead of visible light.
Thermal imaging – a system using mid or long wavelength IR energy to sense differences in temperature. Using cameras, it captures and evaluates the heat signature of a human being or object. The hotter the object, the more thermal energy it releases. It detects small differences in temperature and displays them as a thermal image, in grayscale or color.
To ensure a very high accuracy, Honeywell uses a self-calibrating temperature-compensated and humidity-compensated camera. This means it is making up for fluctuations in temperature and humidity to ensure a stable signal or measurement, regardless of the indoor area where it’s placed, whether a window or HVAC system. This also facilitates unrestricted installation.
Highly-accurate temperature reference – To ensure accurate and stable temperature measurement, Honeywell’s has created a patent-pending proprietary technology called “Dual Black Body.”
A blackbody is a radiator with a stable, predetermined temperature value (37 degrees Celsius, for example) and zero light reflectivity. It works as a temperature calibrator for the infrared camera which uses two points of reference to ensure higher accuracy.
Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms - AI is deployed in myriad applications. In this case, it automates and streamlines the monitoring of an individual's skin temperature. AI-powered software assesses each individual pixel captured by the camera to identify core body temperature and alerts the operator if a secondary evaluation method needs to be performed.
“The temperature of our faces differs from our core body temperature”, Shane McEwen, Senior Product Manager at Honeywell says. “Unlike other products that measure any hot spot on the face, Honeywell’s solution targets specific facial areas, allowing for more accurate skin temperature readings and thus, minimizing false alarms.”
The AI also ensures through-put or fast scanning.
Paired with a high-speed camera, the AI can identify and scan people within seconds. Rapid scanning means high traffic areas remain efficient.
Cybersecurity and data privacy
This solution integrates into your existing IT infrastructure with robust cybersecurity.
NDAA - The Honeywell ThermoRebellion™ solution is National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) compliant which helps prevent types of unauthorized access or attempted intrusion.
PII – The system does not store Personally Identified Information, including images and videos of screened individuals.
The current Honeywell ThermoRebellion™ system complies with FDA Enforcement Policy to expand the availability of telethermographic systems to the public.
Integrating ThermoRebellion in daily operations
The solution is easy to install and use. Honeywell technicians assemble, configure and train personnel on site, on the same day. An experienced technical services team operates 24/7 to keep systems running smoothly. Future release software updates included. Cutting edge software updates protect your investment by anticipating productivity and health improvements.
The system integrates seamlessly with the Honeywell Forge platform and Honeywell’s Healthy Building Solutions that provide a holistic view of a building’s health based on key factors such as air quality, social distancing, occupant flow, sanitation, wellness density and governance adherence.
*Honeywell ThermoRebellion™ is not currently FDA 510(k) cleared.