Four thermal cameras, one of which belongs to the Department of Systems & Control Engineering, and three of which are owned by the Centre for Biomedical Cybernetics, have been loaned to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Health to assist with body temperature detection.
As it is now commonly known, one of the symptoms of COVID-19 is fever, and although they cannot diagnose the virus per se’, these thermal cameras provide a fast way of detecting elevated body temperatures without requiring physical contact as in other conventional close-range thermometers.
Being more portable than the high-end camera, these thermal cameras are being used to check the temperature of staff and employees to help in the containment of the virus, a protective measure that has been recommended by local and international health authorities alike.
Research Support Officer at the Centre for Biomedical Cybernetics, Mr Jean Gauci, said “The use of thermal cameras allows us to monitor the surface skin temperature of the individual, which in this case can be related to their health status (whether they have fever or not). The advantage of using these thermal cameras is that this process can be done in a matter of seconds and without getting in contact with the individual. Moreover, the thermal cameras provide a very high resolution temperature reading of the skin temperature."
A number of other valuable research projects have already been carried out since the first of the four cameras were procured in 2012. They are helping with the early detection of complications in diabetes patients, monitoring the health of fetuses, and the detection of skin cancer.