As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic ensues, the demand for thermal scanners is everywhere. People are more vigilant these days, trying to get done with the virus once and for all. Large lockdowns are no more an option, as the economy has already suffered a lot. But what people can do is, be more careful and follow all the necessary precautions religiously. One of those is stringent containment and scanning. As fever is the most common symptom of the infection, barring people will fever from entering public places can help prevent the situation from worsening.
However, it is not that easy as it sounds.
At the beginning of the pandemic, handheld forehead scanners were used extensively to measure the body temperature of individuals before entering any space. These no-touch infrared thermometers were said to be useful in detecting fever, thus preventing healthy people from getting the infection. The ones detected with fever were sent home and asked to get a COVID-19 test done. If they were found to be infected, they were asked to seek immediate medical help or self-quarantine themselves.
But with time, the health authorities started identifying several challenges and limitations with these thermometers that ultimately raised doubts about their efficiency. People also started tricking these thermometers to enter spaces, like airports, shopping malls, recreation centers, restaurants, office buildings, and more. Nobody likes to stay in quarantine after experiencing an intense lockdown for about a year. Hence, even the people having fever started finding out ways to trick the scanning process. They identified the loopholes in the scanning methods used, thus posing more challenges to the healthy population.
In this post, we are going to discuss how people may trick the conventional forehead scanning process, as well as the solutions against this trend.
The loopholes in forehead scanning
According to medical journal reviews, the forehead scanners commonly used are not authentic medical devices. These read temperature elevations from a distance, true, but there is no guarantee that these temperature readings are accurate. They may be affected by external weather or the surface temperature of other substances, like headgears, etc. Many a time, the people operating these devices also do not hold these at the right angles or measure temperature from proper distances, leading to anomalies. People having a fever may go undetected, and ones with normal temperature levels may also be detected with a fever. As a result, the entire process is quite doubtful.
Let us shed some more light on the loopholes of no-contact infrared thermal scanners.
- External conditions - As the infrared thermometers measure temperature elevation from the surface of any object, the readings may not be accurate at all times. If the weather is too hot, a healthy person may get detected with fever, as the surface skin temperature rises. Similarly, if the outside weather conditions are chilly, a person with fever may enter a public space, undetected, as the surface skin temperature is low. It can be dangerous to healthy people, as infected people may then mingle with the crowd easily.
- Fever medications - As densely-populated places, such as airports, bus stops, and railway stations use these thermometers, they can take fever medications, like a calpol tablet, to bring down body temperatures before getting scanned. As a result, they trick the scanning method and enter the space, thus creating an alarming situation. They appear as healthy people and spread the infection to others.
- Headcovers - Then again, people may wear head shields, caps, hats, and other headgear to trick the scanning method, as the thermometers take the readings from the surface of these objects, and not measure the actual body temperature. One may also use makeup to trick the readings. For women, it is even easier, as they can use their bangs to cover up the forehead and mislead the devices’ tracking method.
- Using cold packs - Suppose you need to catch a flight, but you have a fever. You will definitely be barred from entering the airports. What to do? Well, some people use cold packs on their foreheads to lower the body temperature to a great extent before getting scanned. Due to the inefficiency of the forehead thermal scanners, they get past the scanning easily.
- Sweat a lot - Sweat reduces temperature, and we all know that, right? Well, people may use this trick to escape a forehead scanning method too. If they stay in the sun for long or wear multiple layers of clothing, they will sweat. This will reduce their body temperature, as well as that of the skin surface. The IR thermometers will not detect the internal fever then. However, if the person has COVID, it may lead to many other people getting infected from him.
- Consume Alcohol - When a person consumes alcohol, the body gives out heat during digestion, thus lowering its temperature. If that person has a fever, the thermometer may not detect it for some time, especially after drinking alcohol. Even the core body temperature goes down with increased sweating. It is thus another way to trick an IR thermometer into giving low-temperature readings.
Now, how to resolve these issues and improve the scanning accuracy? Scroll on!
No more forehead-scanning
It is easier to trick a forehead scanning method than a wrist or fist scanning process. Hence, most of the IR thermometers used these days take temperature readings from the hand. The forehead scanning is being rejected by most important public places, like airports, retail stores, office buildings, and educational institutes. They are setting up advanced scanning devices to detect the core body temperatures with utmost accuracy. While some are operated manually, some others are self-scan devices set up against the wall or attached to smart-lock doors that open only to people with normal temperature levels. Most of these devices take the readings from the wrist or the fist of an individual, thus eliminating the chances of anomalies. That makeup on the face or cold packs won’t work anymore.
Any elevations in body temperature are circulated to all parts of the body through the blood vessels. As these blood vessels run close to the surface of the skin near the wrist, the readings are more or less accurate. Even if you apply cold packs on the wrist, the effect will not last long. And well, no one applies makeup on the wrist to trick a scan, right? It will be both uncomfortable and embarrassing if detected
But, while there are few chances to trick such advanced methods manually, the outside temperature still plays a vital role in affecting the readings.
Enters the OPX Technology!
The OPX technology developed by the engineers at Machine Sense has the power to neutralize the effect of outside temperature on the IR thermometers. The thermometers that incorporate this technology have the power to detect core body temperatures and not the temperature of the skin surface. As a result, you can detect fever easily and more conveniently, thus preventing the spread. These OPX technology-incorporate IR thermometers are highly efficient, considering, they can give accurate readings in situations, like cold winters, hot summers, post-lunch, effects of alcohol, and more. Even after a strenuous exercise session, which may reduce the temperature of the skin surface due to excessive sweating, these thermometers can give a more-or-less accurate reading.
It is difficult to trick the OPX technology, as it uses AI algorithms and several geometric spatial sensors to extend the scanning capacity of the IR thermometers. In fact, it enhances their scanning power by about 50%, thus ensuring accurate measurements. Multiple checks are not required, as the temperature readings are 99% accurate in the first check itself. With the pandemic getting on our nerves right now and the need to restore normal situations at their peak, the OPX technology can indeed prove effective.
How can Machine Sense help?
At Machine Sense, we previously developed FeverWarn, the self-scanning device for crowded public places, which took the industry by storm. Now, our engineers have come up with this amazing OPX technology that pushes all other conventional IR thermometers to the back seat. With this technology, you do not have to worry about people passing through the scanning process, undetected. If they have a fever, it will get detected, and if they do not, they will pass. It is as simple as that. Neither safety nor efficiency will be compromised, and everyone will breathe a sigh of relief. Further, the device is designed and manufactured locally, in the US, so it is not priced exponentially. It also adheres to all the norms set by the FDA and is authentic in that regard. If you need more assurance, you can get in touch with us to clarify your doubts. Our experts will explain everything to you before you purchase the OPX technology-incorporated IR thermometers from Machine Sense.
Do not underestimate the second wave, as many people are yet to be inoculated. The healthcare warriors are fighting day in and day out for your sake. It is unethical to flout the rules simply because you do not want to feel caged again. You can at least do this much to keep them from trouble.
Stay safe and keep everyone else safe too!