First people with fevers detected with our cameras

One of the challenging problems with being in a mostly COVID free New Zealand and developing technology to detect fevers is that there are not a lot of people around with fevers. At least until recently when our more traditional flu's and ailments started spreading.  This is graphically illustrated by the the Flu Tracking data which tracks symptoms from over 50,000 respondents. It shows the massive impact our lock down had on all influenza-like symptoms compared to previous years. BTW: If you want to contribute you can sign up at

Flu tracking influenza-like symptoms July 2020See the latest FluTracking reports

This is great for the country - but challenging for those of us developing thermal screening systems when there aren't many feverish people for us to test our technology on.

We've now had reports of the first people that have been detected as having fevers using our cameras. This happened at the Christchurch combined police, fire, ambulance Communications Centre. While they didn't have COVID-19, those that were detected with a high fever were checked by St John's staff, sent home and asked to see their doctor. This reduced the risk of people with potentially infectious (non COVID) diseases from infecting their colleagues.

This shows a couple of the ways fever screening can add value:
  1. Tackling Presenteeism: Identifying members of the workforce who were not aware they might be infectious and saving their colleagues from exposure to such risk
  2. Targeted Testing: Identifying individuals who should be tested for COVID-19.  It is not practical to test every member of a workforce so targeting individuals who might require further testing makes best use of scarce resources available
Soon we aim to provide email or text alerts when the camera detects someone with a high temperature, along with online reporting showing all the temperatures that have been recorded - for health and safety reporting.


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