Feeling the heat: Polish-designed temperature checking gates take the fight to the virus
Gates with thermal cameras designed by engineers from the Silesian University in Gliwice that can check the temperature of people entering buildings have been installed at medical facilities to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The gates can spot somebody with a temperature in an instant and without having human interaction.
Easy and safe, all that is required to perform the test is for a person to stand in front of a thermal camera and wait for the reading.
The gates, which identifies people with higher than normal temperatures without the need for direct contact with nurses or doctors, are already working at the Municipal Hospital in Gliwice, the VITO-MED Hospital, the MEDEN clinic, as well as the Provincial Specialist Hospital in Tychy.
Piotr Folęga, the Faculty of Transport and Aviation Engineering’s dean, said: “After previous tests of three thermal imaging cameras, the camera was selected and upgraded to enable remote control by hospital staff in a separate room. It was designed to measure the temperature of lachrymal sacs and the inside of the ear, both from a fixed distance."
Thermal camera technology is less time-consuming than measuring temperatures with a handheld thermometer as it allows for the efficient testing of successive measurements in short time intervals. If a test arouses suspicions further checks are carried out without hindering the flow of people into the building.
“The result of the examination is information that supports the medical personnel at the stage of verification of people entering the hospital premises,” added Folęga.
The gate was developed by a team composed of Ziemowit Ostrowski, Ph.D., Wojciech Adamczyk (Department of Thermal Technology, Faculty of Environmental and Power Engineering), Damian Borys, Ph.D. (Department of System Engineering and Biology, Faculty of Automation, Electronics and Computer Science and Biotechnology Centre).
The Silesian University of Technology has been active in designing equipment that can help fight the coronavirus pandemic. Apart from the thermal gate, they also have come up with 3D printed protective gear for medical personnel, and created a cheap respirator and a disinfecting gate.