INAOE Designs a Thermal Camera for Spotting COVID-19 Exposures in Densely Populated Spaces
Elevated body temperature is a key indicator of many serious infections, including COVID-19. In recent years, airports, hospitals, schools, work centers, and other public and private facilities have begun deploying thermal cameras in their waiting areas to help identify potentially infected persons so that health and security authorities can intervene and isolate them as needed. This approach, while being a step in the right direction for public health, has a few severe limitations, starting with its unsuitability for monitoring large crowds.
"Traditional thermal imaging works well if you're assessing elevated temperature in a single person," said Jorge de Jesus Alvarado-Martinez, a doctoral candidate studying optical instrumentation and metrology at Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica, y Electrónica (INAOE), a public research center in the Mexican state of Puebla.. "However, this is insufficient for the purposes of syndromic surveillance. For that, you need a thermal camera capable of evaluating groups of people, all at once."
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