With the emergence and continuation of the pandemic, organizations are looking for viable answers to help mitigate the immersion of remote working structures by providing real solutions that will allow organizations to get their hospitals, workforce, manufacturing and educational environments back to some sense of normal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for example, has recommended that medical facilities, businesses, manufacturing, and schools not only protect their medical staff/patients, students/employees but also monitor employee health regularly. Legal experts assert that entities that fail to maintain minimum standards, including health monitoring and temperature screening, could later be subject to liability or workman’s compensation issues if employees, teachers, students, and visitors contract the virus.
Comparing current options: Temperature scanning devices
The science of fist-forward temperature monitoring
The wrist and fist areas are ideal for infrared (IR) scanning because the arterial blood flow is close to the skin. Generally this area does not have scanning complications of other IR technologies like forehead scans where perspiration, hair, or make-up can interfere. University studies report the fist/wrist as one of the most reliable areas for temperature scanning. Many people are familiar with IR skin temperature devices being used to monitor forehead skin temperature. But due to different heights, heavy perspiration of the forehead area, hair, makeup, and other facial coverings, the readings can be compromised and often require secondary scans.
The fist, however, is highly regarded as the best method to correlate with mean body temperature (MBT), which is used to measure fever. Another reason the fist/wrist area is considered as an optimal temperature monitoring is because people can easily manipulate their arm/hand and scan themselves. In contrast, people of different heights would require multiple scanners to achieve the same results with a forehead scanner. Longer range thermal IR imaging systems are also available on the market. Still, they are expensive, and a high-resolution camera is necessary to direct the image to the correct facial areas.
How the wrist-forward method works
The fist-forward method’s advanced infrared temperature monitoring system offers much more than temperature scanning. Certain models provide reporting software acting as your future expert witness and providing compliance reports to help you avoid liability issues. These systems can also easily integrate with auxiliary devices such as automatic doors, gates, and employee attendance systems, or for example, when a red light is indicated, the software allows for the door to automatically lock, preventing that person from entering the building
How New York State leads the way
The New York Department of Health has recently mandated temperature checks for all employees at hospitals in the state. In addition, they have a beta program to allow visitors back into hospitals, but they also must have their temperature checked. A fist-forward product will then tie into their self-serve kiosk where the visitor enters information. They place their hand or fist under the scanner and the temperature report goes to a kiosk with a go / no go for validation. If it signals “green light,” then the visitor pass is printed. This mandated approach means no visitors can enter without a temperature check. However, please note that this is NY Department of Health and it is all detailed online as to this being a mandate, which means it is not optional.