Now marketed as "Fever Detection" cameras, Hikvision's thermographic cameras have been around for a while. But are they really accurate enough to help in the fight against Coronavirus (aka COVID-19)?
Thermal Detection Cameras.
So, what cameras are we talking about here?
This is Hikvision's range of thermal detection, or thermographic, cameras.
They've been around for a while and are used in a huge range of different ways, from improved night time intrusion prevention to monitoring server rooms and factory lines, but since you-know-what happened, they've been reinvented as "fever detection" cameras.
What's in the Hikvision fever detection range?
The fever detection devices are a range of turret or bullet cameras of varying resolution and a complimentary hand-held device. There's also an additional "black body" unit which helps to calibrate the infra-red camera used by the thermographic cameras so they can operate at a higher accuracy.
The full range includes:
- DS-2TP21B-6AVF/W Handheld
- DS-2TD2636B-15/P Medium Resolution Bullet Thermal 15mm
- DS-2TD2636B-10/P Medium Resolution Bullet Thermal 10mm
- DS-2TD2617B-3/PA Low Resolution Bullet Thermal 3mm
- DS-2TD2617B-6/PA Low Resolution Bullet Thermal 6mm
- DS-2TD1217B-3/PA Low Resolution Turret Thermal 3mm
- DS-2TD1217B-6/PA Low Resolution Turret Thermal 6mm
- DS-2TE127-G4A Blackbody calibrator (cannot be used with Handheld.)
- DS-2908ZJ Tripod adapter plate for Turret camera (UNC 1/4”-20 tripod connection)
- DS-2909ZJ Tripod adapter plate for bullet camera (UNC 1/4”-20 tripod connection)
What are the claims?
The claims made for this range include:
- A body temperature detection accuracy of +/- 0.5 deg C in normal usage
- Tolerance as low as +/- 0.3 deg C with additional Black Body unit
- Accurate to distance of up to 1.5m (for the turret cameras)
So, could they be used to detect COVID-19?
Firstly, let's be fair to Hikvision and say they aren't stating it can detect COVID-19 specifically, just that it could be used as a way to monitor large numbers of people and fleg the ones which may have an elevated temperature.
Obviously, this could be for any reason like having been on a run or having just drunk a hot drink.
But let's take the claims at face value and examine them. Could these cameras be used to detect a person with a fever which potentially could be COVID-19 related?
- The average adult body temperature is between 36.1 & 37.2 degress celsius.
- The current COVID-19 guidance says to look out for a body temperaure of 37.8 deg C or higher.
- The difference between these temperatures is is within the +/- 0.5 deg tolerance claimed by Hikvision, and well within the +/- 0.3 deg C acheivable with the Black Body unit).
This suggests these cameras could well be used by businesses and public authorities as an early warning system for all kinds of transmittable fevers, not just COVID-19.
WIth the capability to set alerts and alarms, and the dual-lense cameras meaning they can fulfil normal camera duties at the same time, this range of thermographic cameras from Hikvision could easily be worked in to a normal working environment as an extra layer of protection against mass absences through illness.
Uses beyond body temperature detection.
Ignoring Coronavirus for a second, it's worth also reflecting on the core feature of these cameras: the ability to measure temperature over a wide are to a high degree of accuracy.
This can, and does, have a huge range of applications outside the medical, such as:
- Sudden high temperature alerting, such as detecting smouldering or fire before a smoke alarm does.
- Monitor moving parts on a production line for overheating
- Monitor server rooms or large data centres for hot spots.
- Monitor a whole food chiller or hot plate area for consistent temperature.
And it's also worth remembering that one camera can monitor a large area, meaning there's a much lower need for the cost of installing many, many individual sensors.
Are they available in the UK?
I recently spoke to both Hikvision UK and some of our distributors and it seems not only is Hikvision upping production of these units (hmm, I wonder why this is?) but UK distributors are also preparing to hold much higher levels of stock in the UK as they usually would.
It's also worth pointing out that these cameras can be used either as part of an existing deployment or as a standalone system.
Where can I get Hikvision fever detection cameras?
Just get in touch with me!
0333 313 7773