Airports Turn To Medical Thermal Imaging To Scan For Swine Flu
Released May 1, 2009
As concern continues to mount about the spread of the swine flu globally, airport authorities are responding by using digital thermal imaging technology to scan passengers. Thermal imaging can detect elevated body temperature, one of the signs of the virus N1H1 (swine flu).
“Medical thermal imaging at airports and any other locations where the public congregate targets individuals who are already symptomatic and likely to be infectious,” says Peter Leando, Ph.D., Managing Director of Meditherm. Meditherm’s thermal imaging system is one of the only digital thermal imaging scanners designed specifically for the human body giving the airport authorities the accuracy that they are looking for to identify infected passengers travelling from country to country. The company’s medical thermal imaging systems are in use at airports in Aruba, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
The highest risk for the geographic spread of infection is through travel and “seeding”. Thermal imaging of travelers has several benefits:
- Sensitive screening to detect abnormal physiology (hot or cold) will have a high percentage of accuracy in detecting abnormal temperatures, which then leads to further testing of an individual in order to confirm symptoms or rule out clinical suspicion. This group will generally already be symptomatic and are best detected with a mass screening approach including rapid movement through airports.
- Sensitive but targeted screening can detect individuals who may not exhibit symptoms but will show abnormalities days before symptoms evolve. This will include high risk groups of individuals, traveling from infected areas.
- Establishing routine fever screening during outbreaks will deter individuals from traveling if they know or suspect that they have any symptoms whatsoever. This group has the greatest potential to limit the spread by complying with the World Health Organization and other advisory body recommendations not to travel if you have been exposed to anyone infected or have any symptoms yourself.
While fever screening stations will not prevent the spread completely, they are an integral part of the effort to limit the outbreak and reduce the number of deaths, says Dr. Leando.
In recent days, more orders have been placed for Meditherm’s medical thermal imaging system from customers wanting to screen not only in airports but in large corporations, manufacturing plants and even public entertainment fascilities in the UK, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, St Martin, USA, Puerto Rico and Argentina, with enquiries also coming from several other countries, including Mexico.
Based in Fort Myers, Florida, privately-owned Meditherm Inc. manufactures and distributes the Med 5220 and Med 520 line of digital thermal imaging systems, also known as Fever Screen Stations. Meditherm is currently the only medical device manufacturer building IR equipment exclusively for medical and clinical use and more than 2,000 Meditherm scanners are currently in use worldwide for a wide range of medical uses including fever screening, sports medicine, breast screening, pain clinics, and vascular studies which include stroke risk evaluation and deep vein thrombosis. www.meditherm.com
Meditherm’s Peter Leando is available for interviews to discuss thermal imaging.
Managing Director, Meditherm Inc