The demand for thermal cameras has spiked in the U.S. in consequence of the rapid spread of COVID-19. The main appeal of these cameras is that they can take body temperature in real time without the need of physical contact. In a world where social distancing is the norm, some companies have taken to online articles to claim that thermal cameras can be used to stop the spread of COVID-19. The use of misleading headlines to make sales can lead people to have misconceptions of what these cameras can and cannot do. We have taken four of these claims to discuss the lengths of their veracity.
1.Thermal cameras stop the spread of COVID-19.
Thermal cameras do not detect or diagnose people with COVID-19 or any other viruses. Their main function is to read body temperature and ‘highlight’ individuals with temperature above normal levels.These information can then be used to isolate an individual with high body temperature and protect others from having contact with them in the event that they are contagious.
2. Thermal cameras read body temperature 100% accurately.
Thermal cameras have existed for over 90 years and are widely used in Asian countries. Depending on the brand and model, these cameras can read body temperature with close accuracy. The best results vary only by a .5 degree. Unlike thermometers, cameras can read the body temperature of multiple people at the same time. Some of these devices don’t even require the individual to stand still in front of the camera to read their temperature. Many airports have already adopted the use of thermal cameras to measure information as people are walking by.
3. Thermal cameras are high maintenance.
Unlike thermometers that need to be sanitized after every use and replaced often, thermal cameras do not require physical contact to read body temperature. They can detect a person’s temperature from 4-6 ft away, which is an ideal distance while practicing social distancing. Once they are installed, thermal cameras require only minimal training to operate, are low maintenance, and maintain high sanitation standards.
4. Thermal cameras invade privacy.
This topic is open for discussion. Many people fear that their personal information will be stored. Others believe that the risk that a pandemic poses to the public is greater and it should outweigh the invasion of privacy. However, thermal cameras do not store personal information other than body temperature. In addition, there are already many public areas that have cameras in place in the United States. Large cities like Chicago, have had their own surveillance system in place for many years. These cameras are used in traffic infractions, vehicle coalitions, and to solve crimes. In the best case scenario, security cameras and thermal cameras increase the quality of life. In the worst of scenarios, they have minimal personal information but do not store it for longer than 30 days.
Thermal cameras should not be advertised as an exclusive solution to stop the spread of COVID-19. Rather, businesses should implement them in conjunction with other recommended measures. Since high body temperature is not exclusive to COVID-19, it can also be an indication that one of the many other seasonal viruses are present. Because of their main function, thermal cameras have proven to be especially useful in high traffic places like airports, schools, and large offices. The outlook of this pandemic will determine if thermal cameras are here to become the new norm of technology. The better we respond to this pandemic the better the outlook for the future will be.
Help your community fight the spread of viruses! Contact us today at 773-388-1208 to discover the benefits of adding thermal cameras in your property or business.