June 2, 2020 – One of the things we have to accept as a part of our “new normal” life post-corona is that our temperature is going to be measured regularly when trying to enter some institutions. Thus, a Croatian company from Varaždin, ExaByte has created a system that will make it as simple and efficient as possible.
Ines Brežnjak writes for dnevno.hr about the ExaByte company. They have been in business for 12 years now, working on the development of sophisticated IT solutions with implementations in numerous industries (including advanced systems for news websites, the integration of the current business solutions with advanced e-commerce solutions, software support to the industrial manufacturing through the implementation of the artificial intelligence technologies). Now they’ve decided to develop IT technologies to be used to prevent the spread of coronavirus, protect the healthcare workers, and in many other industries. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they started developing a system that uses artificial intelligence to measure someone’s body temperature rapidly. Their system is, compared to similar existing products on the global market, much cheaper, mobile, and simple to install and use.
New Time – New Technologies
“As we talked to a colleague who has a medical degree, we recognized that being able to control the bodily temperature of many people is one of the bottlenecks and critical points in the age of the epidemic. The standard technology used here these days is measurements with contactless thermometers, which is a technology not up to the challenge during the pandemic times. When you want to use such a handheld contactless thermometer to measure the temperatures of each person in larger groups, such as in hospitals, health centers, factories, schools, or daycare centers, many problems appear”, Bernard Toplak, the ExaByte owner explains. Those include an increased risk of infection for the person doing the measurement, as the person holding the thermometer must come within a meter of the person whose temperature is being taken, and who is potentially infected. Also, those measurements can be very imprecise unless they’re used properly, and the variation can be up to 2 °C. Many of the hospitals in Croatia have erected mobile tents where the measurements are performed, and such measurements are done in the open, on people with colder foreheads. None of that complies with the specifications and the instructions written by the producers of contactless thermometers. They’re designed and calibrated to be used at room temperature and indoors.
It’s evident that handheld devices are just not up for the challenges and dangers of today. That’s why numerous systems based on thermal imaging infrared cameras are being introduced worldwide to measure temperature. The solutions that were available in Croatia in March and April were based on security cameras with night-vision capabilities, and they cost between 18 thousand and over 26 thousand euros. That’s why ExaByte decided to create their own solution, not compromising on the quality, but at just the fraction of the cost. They’ve worked closely with a well-renowned producer of specialized thermal imaging cameras since early March, developing software based on artificial intelligence, which can control body temperatures of a group of people fast, using the thermal imaging camera and a reference black body. And, Toplak is proud to say they were successful, and they have a system which is much cheaper than the competition, and much simpler to install and use and is mobile.
Features of the system include a group screening of the bodily temperature without stopping, ultra-fast measurements (it can measure up to 9 times per second), it’s mobile (can quickly be taken from one location to the next if needed), it’s simple to install and use.
The Same System is Used Worldwide
“The same system was recently implemented in thousands of hospitals in China and all over the world, in factories, schools, and other locations where there are many people. For instance, our partner’s cameras are located on all subway stations in Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic. In Croatia, you can find equipment by those who usually sell surveillance (security) cameras, which have been improved so they can measure temperature instead of performing night-time surveillance. Some of the solutions are quite good, but some of them are not exactly of high quality, especially if they don’t use the black body device to calibrate the measurement. Our cameras have been developed to measure temperatures, and not for night-time surveillance,” Toplak said when asked if similar systems are used elsewhere.
A very precise infrared camera is used as a fundamental element of the system, which was developed to measure temperatures in industrial settings, such as to protect against overheating of machines and plants, for protection against fires, to supervise the electro-installations, the transformers, etc. The camera has a very high resolution and precision, which allows us to be precise at a distance of over 4 meters. That’s what makes the system perfect for installation at the entrances to the hospitals, factories, schools, daycare centers, public administration waiting rooms, and other areas where many people are found at the same time.
The other key element is the reference heat source, the so-called black-body element, widely used to calibrate the infrared effect of the optical systems, the infrared detectors and other instruments using the infrared radiation.
“Other systems, which don’t use the black-body source, are unable to achieve precision, which depends greatly on external influences (winds, drafts, sudden changes in the temperature, etc.). Our system re-calibrates nine times in a second using the black-body source, which gives us the precision with the deviation of up to ±0,3 °C at 4 to 5 meters. Our software is built on our many years of experience, but also our partner’s rich experience, and they’re a factory producing infrared sensors and precise industrial cameras”, Toplak explains.
The prototype of their system is being tested in Varaždin hospital, where such technologies can significantly help. ExaByte has let the hospital use it for free, and the feedback is very positive. IT was the feedback that led them to offer their system on the market, not just in Croatia. They’re already talking to partners in Italy, Germany, Slovenia, etc., and many of them are interested in ExaByte’s solution, Toplak concludes.
If you would like to find out more information about this product, please contact [email protected] Subject Temperature.
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