Infectious diseases like COVID-19 can travel the world within 24 hours. While there are many mass screening technology methods used to detect a variety of threats, the ability to rapidly screen for fevers has quickly become one of the most important tools in the world’s fight against COVID-19—one that the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is proud to support.
Temperature screening technologies can be used by first responders and security personnel at airports and other surface transportation environments. They can also be deployed at events in stadiums and convention centers, or even educational institutions, shops, office buildings and hospitals to increase the health and safety of those on the front lines and the general public.
We know that fever is a common indicator of COVID-19, which is why we’re ramping up efforts to support state and local emergency response organizations interested in purchasing technologies that can rapidly identify an above-normal body temperature. Non-intrusive methods like thermographic screening can be accomplished by using fever detection systems such as thermal imaging equipment. As crowds move through these systems, the cameras detect infrared energy to alert first responders to individuals with elevated skin temperatures.
At a time when our nation is opening up a bit more and getting back to work and school, S&T is doing our part to ensure stakeholders have all the information they need to make informed decisions about which scanning technologies to purchase. Our National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) is conducting a market survey of temperature screening thermograph technologies used for mass fever detection specifically at points of entry. NUSTL’s research of non-invasive screening technologies will also inform state, local and federal response agencies interested in procuring this type of technology.
In late July, S&T released a request for information to identify potential vendors, manufacturers and distributors who have Screening Thermographs for Non-Invasive Febrile Temperature Screening of Individuals to meet the needs of first responders and protective services. The technologies under consideration will adhere to the technical specifications identified by the National Institute of Health from their study entitled Comparison of 3 Infrared Thermal Detection Systems and Self-Report for Mass Fever Screening.
Interested industry partners have until August 31 to submit their technologies for inclusion in our market survey. Once NUSTL’s market survey is complete, a report with results and relevant information will be published on the SAVER Document Library on our website.
NUSTL’s System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER) program provides an in-depth assessment of the present market and commercial technologies that are available now to the first responder community.