How AI and Thermal Imaging Enable Contactless Temperature Screenings on Campus

August 21, 2020 3 minute read

It is without a doubt that college students, professors, faculty, and parents are anxiously awaiting with some apprehension the reopening of campuses. Although many colleges and universities are requiring mandatory testing before students can return, this does not ensure that cases of COVID-19 will not reoccur. The situation at hand demands effective precautions to keep staff and students safe. However, knowing what proactive procedures need to be adhered to and how to effectively implement are two very separate challenges. 

Temperature screenings are a universal component of on-campus safety procedures. Unfortunately, many screening processes require a significant amount of manpower, time, and resources not to mention pose a potential exposure risk. 

Implementing a contactless screening solution for educational institutions is critical to contain the virus and prevent an exponential rise in infection rates. One such solution is the combination of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and thermal imaging techniques. Together, these technologies can provide safer and efficient contactless temperature screenings for staff and students that other methods simply cannot achieve. With the use of wireless networks, temperature readings can be monitored remotely on various devices.

Challenges Facing Traditional Temperature Screenings on Campus: 

Individual screening procedures are difficult to implement for any educational institution and are challenging to scale for large campuses. Ineffective procedures can hinder screening efforts and potentially expose faculty and students to a risk of infection in addition to other challenges:

  • Queues of people waiting to be screened at entryways can create bottlenecks and delays adding stress on staff and students as they move between buildings.
  • Screening dozens or hundreds of people requires consistent compliance with procedures and enough manpower to implement effectively.
  • Staff responsible for taking temperatures are at an increased risk of exposure to the virus and must be provided with adequate PPE
  • Lines of people waiting to be manually screened can easily violate social distancing requirements.

How Does AI and Thermal Camera Technology Work Together to Screen Temperatures?

Thermal cameras function by reading their field of vision for temperature fluctuations, and an occasional false alarm can be triggered by nearby hot spots, such as a car exhaust or a hot coffee cup. Despite differing heat signatures, the combined technology of artificial intelligence (AI) and thermal cameras can differentiate between people and objects thus minimizing falsely identifying a person at risk for COVID-19.

Combined with AI technology, the thermal cameras can identify individuals and automatically alert the monitoring team during scanning when an elevated temperature is recognized providing real-time analysis.

Thermal cameras can be utilized in both indoor and outdoor settings, automatically adjusting to the ambient temperature allowing the solution to be implemented at multiple entry points and high-traffic routes.

Additional AI Software Modules

  • 24/7 surveillance around a facility with complete access control such as vehicle recognition and elimination of key fob need to identify visitors.
  • Optional facial recognition can capture useful data such as people counting,  demographics, and the number of at-risk alerts throughout the day/week/month or year.  All data metrics are carried over the IoT cloud for seamless data visualization.
  • Object detection & access control. An unauthorized hidden object can be detected upon entry. 

How This Technology Benefits Colleges and Universities

Together, thermal imaging and artificial intelligence can provide an effective and efficient temperature screening protocol to keep students, faculty, and staff safe. 

Designated screening areas can be set up at multiple points of entry, allowing thermal cameras to automatically scan each individual as they enter. If someone has an elevated temperature, an alert is triggered, and they can be taken aside for further evaluation. Implementing the ideal system can be challenging, but will reduce mass exposure in multiple ways:

  • Creates a steady flow of traffic by automatically scanning individuals as they enter  while maintaining social distancing.
  • Eliminates a bottleneck of people in a high-density building by utilizing multiple cameras at each entryway.
  • Eases the staff requirement with remote monitoring 
  • Automatic alerts (via alarm) allow ease of identifying individuals for further evaluation. 
  • Use of product solution does not require specialized training

What solution is best for your facility?

  • IntelliSite Human-Based Monitoring System (hBM) is the "complete temperature detection solution". The product solution includes a full range of capabilities combining thermal cameras, artificial intelligence (AI) and a proprietary IoT conditioned-based monitoring platform. This solution includes a master operating device with cameras placed at multiple entryways throughout the facility. Ideal for large-scale facilities with multi-entrances and high traffic volume such as universities, stadiums, and manufacturing.
  • IntelliSite hBM Kiosk Solution includes all temperature detection services and additional AI modules. Ideal for a small businesses, such as a doctor office with limited entryways.
  • IntelliSite hBM Rapid Deployment Kit offers a solution for the field, when speed, mobility, and ease of use matters most. This solution offers flexibility and economy for smaller use cases but does not include the additional AI modules. Ideal for on the spot events or locations such as voting polls, or project sites.  

ANS Advanced Network Services is fully equipped to deploy all three of IntelliSite’s Human-Based Monitoring System (hBM) solutions – all allowing multiple screenings via camera(s) to capture elevated temperatures to detect and deliver real-time risk assessments. By combining this system with connectivity by Cradlepoint, ANS integrates a turnkey Temperature Detection Solution that caters to the unique requirements of all educational institutions.

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