In this webinar, Loffler's physical security experts break down the positives and challenges of two leading temperature screening solutions and answer questions from attendees.
Returning to normal is a tough subject. We've got a lot of things to consider. There's government-mandated health and safety guidelines, reducing stress and anxiety for employees; we want employees and guests to maintain a safe work environment. Along with that there's going to come a lot of new policies, procedures — things that people are going to need to implement. Not to mention all the cleaning we've got to do. And we've had a lot of requests on these types of solutions.
Can we measure people's temperatures using technology? And if so, how do we do that? One of the big takeaways from this webinar is that there's a lot of operational considerations to take into account.
How many people am I screening on a per-day, per-hour basis? Do the people all come into the facility at the same time? Do they all come in through the same doors? And then other challenges are, should I log the temperature data on the employees or the guests? This starts to get into some HIPAA and legal requirements. What are those legal requirements? And then, if you are storing that data, how are you doing it? Are you doing it in a secure manner? Is there a means to retrieve that data?
Ultimately one of the big questions that we always get is, if I get an elevated temperature, what's the next step? We're going to talk a little bit about that. These technologies that we'll show you today and explain to you how they work, some of them require staff. We've had situations with schools, they've asked some questions about if I use the kiosk versus a mass entry solution. We're going to try to help you answer those questions today.
First and foremost, let's talk about the technology itself. This technology is not new. It's been around for several years because in other parts of the world, they had outbreaks, flu epidemics and so on. And a temperature seems to be a key factor in identifying whether or not somebody potentially is infected. So that's where most of this technology has come from.
These systems use infrared cameras. These infrared cameras are not high resolution cameras by any means. And an infrared camera really is designed to visually show heat and how it's distributed. In order to make that work with solutions like this, you take that information from the infrared cameras and then you basically combine that into some software, some analytics, to determine if a person is showing an elevated temperature.
Some of these solutions have devices known as a black-body, which is a calibration device. The black-body is essentially a surface that has a constant, fixed temperature reading that the infrared camera uses as a reference point to determine the temperature of another point within the screen.
Again, these solutions are measuring surface temperature and not core body temperature. It's really important for you to take that away. Some of these devices can use FDA-approved infrared cameras. There are today only 12 infrared cameras approved by the FDA and those cameras are extremely expensive. But we'll talk a little bit about some of the things the FDA has done to relax those needs. But keep in mind, these are not medical grade devices.
Because these solutions are not measuring core body temperature, you need to take into account environmental variables inside the space where we're measuring temperatures of people. As an example, a person coming in that might have been outside in the rain and their skin surface is at a lower temperature than their core body temperature. So these are not one hundred percent accurate, but again, in many cases, as we try to return to normal, we've got to do something rather than do nothing.
These solutions, also known as Personnel Management Kiosks (PMK) are standalone. They're designed to measure elevated temperature with people. They can be tied with card access solutions, they have automation to them, they have alarms that show the fact that somebody has an elevated temperature above the set threshold. We'll talk a little bit about that.
They can either have LAN or Wi-Fi connectivity, but a key component to this is these devices are really only accurate to 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit. As you consider your operational needs, understand that if the human body normal temperature – and everybody has a slightly different level of norm – if 98.6 degrees is considered norm, then, this device should recognize up to 99.5 degrees. But understand in some cases people might feel that that's an elevated temperature. You need to think about what that elevated temperature threshold is for each individual installation. They're customizable.
These solutions can be pedestal-mounted, wall-mounted, put on countertops, or they can be standalone on a pole. Additionally, these devices can be branded. We do offer some branding solutions, that we can put wraps around to brand them to your particular company to make them blend into your work environment. We have solutions from HP. We have solutions from NEC just to name a few. In each one of them the software is different, and has different levels of capabilities. It really does require some analysis, a discussion. It's not just, "Hey, buy one, be done," and you're off to the races. Cause there's lot of things to consider operationally, to make sure that we get you the right device, and that if you need to store data, we're storing it appropriately.
Watch: View Our Temperature Screening Kiosk Demo Video.
The positives include: They're really simple to deploy. As long as you've got Wi-Fi and you've got a 110 volt outlet, it maybe in a vestibule, or just in an entryway, it's as simple as that. It doesn't require a lot. There is some configuration that's required when we stand the device up. But what's really nice about them is they are unmanned. They can be tied to a door access control system. If you do have a vestibule, your deployment and your office could tie-in to the internal vestibule door. The intent there will be in order to even enter the space, even if you have a card access, you'll swipe your card, you'll get your temperature measured, and as long as you're in the green zone, and you get a thumbs up, that door will unlock for a few seconds for you to pull the door open and enter the space.
What's really nice about them is their automated interaction. It's simple voice commands. You walk up to the device, you see your face inside of a silhouette, they give you a green light or red light. Additionally they're cost effective. In comparison to the other solutions like a mass temperature scanner. There is no physical contact needed to use these types of solutions.
One of the challenges is that because it's a physical device and it's literally sitting in front of people, they'll be apt to touch the device. And so you're going to have to consider if you're using that, what am I doing to clean that device on a regular basis?
Additional things to consider are accuracy limitations because these devices do not have a black-body calibration device inside the field of view. These devices come from the factory pre-calibrated. We will be offering some managed services to come out on a regularly scheduled basis, if you so choose, to recalibrate the devices. But they do have accuracy limitations. Again, they're 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit accurate, which is almost a degree.
They also have, and this is a very key component, they have limited throughput capabilities. And how I want to explain that is through the scanning device process. The kiosk scanning process on one individual standing in front of the device takes approximately 3 seconds. You also need to consider that if you've got a large group of people entering the space, say in a school, you're going to need to consider the walk-up time to the device. So that's 6 to 8 foot social distancing and the step up.
So we actually say that the device takes approximately 8 seconds to move from one person to the next. And in that case, you can get about 350 to 400 scans per hour. So when you're talking about a school, and we've had many schools, many educational institutions that have asked about these types of solutions, the biggest challenge that you need to understand from an operational perspective is that with the walk up time – are you gonna have a bunch of students needing to get into the building between say 8:00 and 9:00, so 30 minutes. That may work in some cases. We've talked to some schools that have smaller environments and 50 some people day. So in those cases it may work. In an office environment, it would work really well. But if you've got a factory where people come in from 6:50 to 7:00, and they have to punch in at exactly 7:00, these solutions really are not optimal for that.
You could get multiple kiosks, but there's going to be a break point there where a mass temperature scanning solution's going to be a fit for what you're trying to do. I'm going to move on to what are mass temperature screening solutions. These systems are designed and used day in and day out. The US Customs and Border Patrol uses these devices regularly. They're designed to basically create a pinch point, that's anywhere from 8 to 12 feet wide, and people just flow through. They walk through in their normal behavior. The analytic identifies the person, it puts a binding box around their face, and I'm going to show you some examples of that shortly.
They're really designed for high human traffic - manufacturing facilities, educational institutions, hospitals, public events, that kind of thing. They're fast to screen. You can integrate with video surveillance platforms to record the video. You can scan a lot of people at one time. It's a zero-contact operation. And they're extremely environmental adaptable. We support and provide solutions from a company called Costar. We have others from Konica Minolta. We have one from a company called Omnisense. There are different use cases for different cameras.
Again, the black-body calibration device sits inside the field of view, as I had shown on the prior slide, and that black-body device hangs just above the walking space. It's designed to emulate or essentially broadcast a fixed temperature for the thermal imaging camera to constantly reference as a point to validate against a person walking through the space, to determine if their temperature is elevated.
These solutions are much more highly calibrated, much more accurate. The next big piece to this is the control software. It requires either a server or a desktop PC to operate. It does require an operator to be viewing the camera and the software while people are walking through. They can be tied to an alarm solution. We can trigger a bell or a light to say that the person walking through has an elevated temp. If you were doing social distancing, 6 to 8 feet as that one person did walk through and they were identified, it would identify them with an audible chirp. The control officer could escort them off to the side, and into a quarantine space.
In this example, we've got the images blurred on the faces. The faces in this software would actually come in quite clear, and these can be tied to facial recognition. In this particular case, they register as just strangers. We're not recording one-to-one data, but we are recording a timestamp of the event. Right here in this infrared picture, this is the black-body. The system knows what this temperature reference point is. Over here on the left, this is again the black-body in the colored picture. The solutions provide snap counts of the number of people that have walked through, and then also provide records of how many temperature readings you've had as people have walked through.
You can really do high volumes of traffic. You will need to identify specific locations or specific entrances of buildings, to operate these devices. They're highly accurate. I can't stress that enough. They're within a half a degree of accuracy because of that black-body.
Calibration in this type of environment is automatic because it's a constant calibration instead of a factory pre-calibration. It's something to take into consideration based on your needs. There is zero physical contact. It's really the person walks through the entryway, the camera needs to be installed at a certain level, but they walk through the space and into it. It can be installed in a pretty discreet installation.
The challenges around it are really based on the fact that it's complex. It requires that black-body, it requires a thermal camera. That camera needs to be mounted in a specific distance away from the entryway. It needs to be set at a specific height. Picture a high school, their primary entrance has a 28-foot ceiling, so hanging a camera 16 feet inside that entryway, off of a 28-foot high ceiling is challenging. And in some cases you may not be able to use the entrance that you'll want to use. Our intent here is to talk about the technologies, explain to you the challenges, so we can have good solid engagement with you before you make a decision on what type of technology would be best suited for you.
But we've got the Omnisense solution, whose black-body and its camera actually talk to one another and do automatic adjustments based on environmental changes and averages of people walking through the building. On a hot summer day or on a cool day, that temperature threshold will adjust automatically. But those systems are very expensive. Additionally, there are many components to this: There's the PC, there's the screen, there's the camera, there's the black-body. There may be an alarm that's needed to be installed. There are a lot of considerations to think about as you operationalize a solution like this.
At its core, those are the two solutions that we're offering.
Q. Who manufactures the solutions?
For the kiosks we've got several vendors like HP, NEC and a few others. And then on the mass screening solutions, we've partnered with Konica Minolta, Costar and Omnisense. Again, each of these solutions offer different levels of capabilities and functionality. We really suggest that as you think about these types of things, that you engage with your Loffler sales representative to determine the best fit. We'll schedule a meeting, have a one-on-one discussion and we'll find the right solution for you before we make a recommendation.
Q. What is the standard warranty?
Out of the box, most standard warranty for these solutions is a one-year warranty, but additional support and warranty can be purchased. We're going to offer some managed service solutions around that. We'll talk a little bit more about that as we have one-on-one discussions with you.
Q. If we ordered the solution today, what is the time to full deployment typically?
This depends on which solution is being purchased. Right now you should expect lead times to be about 4 to 5 weeks from the date of the PO. We do have some inventory. Though I will say that about 60% of that inventory has already been spoken for. So if you do have a need, I recommend getting involved in that quickly. I was on a call a week ago Friday with one of the manufacturers; there were 1,300 participants on the call. I expect these lead times to extend. I don't want to push in the sense of a salesman, but I do recommend that you engage quickly if you do have interest in doing this.
Q. Is the information stored in a way that is retrievable?
We talked about the HIPAA compliance and challenges around that. We can store the data. We do recommend that this database is stored in an anonymous factor. We can retrieve the data; we'll work with you to do that. Each solution has a different way to retrieve that data. In our managed service offerings we're going to offer doing that information retrieval for you. So we can either provide you a way to get to the data or we can do that for you.
Q. Does the kiosk require each person being screened to touch it each time? And also wondering what basic costs for this technology look like?
On the kiosks, no one's required to touch the device. It's fully automated. It will recognize a person walking up and the screen will change from black to seeing a face. I say that the cleaning's needed because in talking with some of the schools, if you put this in an educational environment and even in a business environment, just because it's an object, people will touch it. That's something to consider.
Q. How would it work outside? We have a large semi-sheltered ballpark entrance.
If you have an entryway, we can have a discussion, but you're gonna probably need to look at a fairly sophisticated mass entry (walk-through) solution. It could work. We need to look at the environment to make sure that it will fit your needs. Sunlight does affect the operation. That would really require a one-to-one conversation to make sure that we're providing you with the right solution.
Q. How are software updates handled?
On the kiosks those solutions are cloud controlled. We have remote capabilities to update the software and firmware on the devices. We can power cycle the devices remotely. We would handle those updates for you in a managed service solution. That's going to be based on what your needs are.
Q. Could you repeat the environmental challenges for the kiosk? For example, does it impact the accuracy of the 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit?
It won't impact the accuracy itself, but what could happen is the environmental change could present challenges. You could have a person that, let's say a child has been running around outside and they come inside and gets measured. Their surface skin temperature if they were outside and in the sun, is going to be higher than potentially a core body temperature or they could have elevated core body temperature. The accuracy itself is not affected, but the threshold that you set the alarm at is kind of the key component there.
Q. Should we be concerned about regulatory compliance?
Yes, you should. Solutions can store information that can be retrieved, right? And each solution has a unique process to secure and encrypt that data properly. We recommend that we understand what your needs are from an operational perspective before we engage in how we would do that. But the data absolutely can meet regulatory compliances.
Q. On the Costar Solution, can temperature numbers not be shown and recorded, just a pass/fail?
I believe they can, but I need to check on that.
Q. Do you recommend we also have a medical grade thermometer available if the person shows an elevated temperature? And do you have suggestions on what we should do when a higher than normal temperature registers?
Yes, we do. One of the takeaways that we want you to think about is, when that alarm goes off, what do you do? You should use a medical grade thermometer to double-check that elevated temperature because each company, each installation, is going to have a different threshold of what would be out of norm. Our recommendations would be to have a process around that. We can help you identify and walk through these processes to help you make your decisions.
Q. How quickly does the skin return to a good reading when coming in from intense sunshine or cold?
That's a very difficult question to answer because that's dependent upon each person's body. As an example, you may have somebody that is heavier set, that walked up three flights of stairs to enter an office space. It depends on the person and that's not something that any technology can control.
Q. Are there any additional features planned that you didn't discuss today?
We talked to a lot of manufacturers, and we've gotten several questions around how these things could be changed or reutilized; what other features could be added. And we're continuing to work with those manufacturers to develop those things. As those become available, we'll update you and update our website with this kind of information.
Q. Are there other systems that can integrate with this solution? For example, a video management platform, camera system?
These solutions can tie to video management solutions. There's some requirements to understand what video management platform you might be using. You could pull in an RTSP video stream into a lot of recording solutions. We've had requests about conjoining HR platforms to integrate and ingest some of the data. These integrations frankly can become pretty complex. These are a one-to-one, but yes, they can be integrated with other things. Access control is another example.
Q. We are a very small company with a few employees and no HR department. Who can help us answer important questions about how we should best implement a solution like this?
What we would ask is that you reach out to your Loffler rep. We've got resources to help you determine your needs and assist you in this effort. We do a lot of work with several different legal firms we can put you in contact with, if it's not something that we can answer. We have the support available to help you.
Q. Do you have to worry about tailgating or multiple people bunched together for the mass screening, walk-through solution?
Good question. You know, you don't really have to worry too much about tailgating. First and foremost, we're already being trained over the last 60 days to work on social distancing. This is actually going to help this technology. These solutions can literally have people walking side by side, one right behind the other. It will require some distance. Once the first person comes out of the frame and the next person comes in, the solution should measure that and identify that head. It's not a 100% guarantee, for example, if somebody is literally trying to walk in the silhouette of the person in front of them. Again, mass temperature screening solutions do require someone monitoring a screen that's going to be looking at the people walking in. And if you had that case, you could stop them and ask them to walk out, and walk back in.
Q. Do the machines need to be serviced? And if so, at what interval?
Another really good question. The kiosks come pre-calibrated at the factory. We can provide some managed calibration services with our managed service agreements. We would come out either monthly or quarterly to do a recalibration. We would bring out a black-body device to calibrate the kiosk. The walk-through temperature screening solution is constantly calibrating so that's not needed.
Q. When placed near an entry door, how much does the cool or warm air affect the mass entry solution?
The cool or warm air itself won't affect the mass entry solution because again, it's not measuring air, it's measuring surfaces. So recognize that the infrared camera is looking at heat disbursement on surfaces. It's not really about the air flow that's there. It will show the body temperature or skin temperature because that's what it's looking at.
Q. Can we do our own installation?
Many features are not pre-configured on the devices and require setup and configuration, such as:
Q. What about HIPAA ADA considerations? Does the device store the records in any way? And it could be considered a medical record?
If you were using card access, depending upon how we do an integration, yes, it could be considered a medical record and we really would recommend not doing that. But if that is a requirement for installation, that is something that we can do, but it is something that you should consider on how you do that. If we are storing those records, and they're considered medical data, we would develop the system or install the system to meet those compliances.
Q. Is the software and hardware on the kiosk safe from cyber-attack or malware?
The devices today have been tested and certified as secure. Many of these types of threats really can be controlled with well-managed network security and design to prevent these challenges. We can discuss during your consultation, how best to help you manage these solutions. We have a very strong professional services and network team that can harden your network and help harden the devices further than what they are already today, out of the box.
Q. Can you set the threshold on the kiosk for what it is considered a high temperature since it has a 0.9 degree Fahrenheit margin of error?
Yes. So we can adjust the threshold in .2 of a degree increments. So the alarm threshold can be adjusted up or down. It doesn't necessarily adjust the margin of error, but it adjusts the point in which the alarm is triggered.
Q. How many people can we scan in say a minute, or 10 minutes, or an hour?
If you're doing standard social distancing at 6 to 8 feet and a person's walking up to the kiosk and the kiosk takes about 3 seconds to process, you should anticipate about an 8 to 10 second time between subject A and subject B. With that in mind, and considering a lot of variables, we would think about 350 to 400 scans on a single kiosk per hour.
Q. Is the solution suitable for schools?
It is, but there's a caveat. It's really about the number of people coming through the device at a time. If we've got a school environment and from 8:30 to 9:00am you've got 300 or 400 students coming into the space all at one time, a kiosk might not be the best solution. You could do a couple of kiosks, spread apart if you've got the space. But I would say that you should consider a mass scanning solution in a large school environment.
Q. What is the purchase price and installation and any additional costs for calibration followups for a personnel management kiosk?
The only requirement would be a high-voltage electrical that's needed there. That's not something that we do, we can help coordinate it, but that is something that's a requirement.
Q. What about companies who are requiring people to wear a face mask? If their face is covered, will it still work?
Yes, regardless of whether you are using a kiosk or you're using a mass scanning device or solution. Even the low-end solution has a feature where you can invoke mask as a requirement. If a person isn't wearing a mask, it will actually tell you that they're not wearing a mask. They'll get a red alert and can be told to put a mask on. But the solution will work even if a person is wearing a mask.
Q. What about a person coming in from negative 20 degree Fahrenheit temperatures in Minnesota?
This goes back to skin temperature and environmental changes. This technology is not perfect. It is just technology. And there is no guarantee that a person who was standing outside for 30 minutes, that when they walk in their core body temperature may be high, but their skin temperature may be well below any threshold that would be there. There's no guarantee one way or the other on that one.
Q. Are there other benefits to a kiosk besides temperature measuring?
Sure. We can tie or repurpose these solutions. We can invoke the touchscreen to ultimately become a guest entry solution where somebody can type in their name, and you could tie this to an active directory. Scanners can be added to the device to scan QR codes, for meeting invites, etc., so it can be utilized in a multitude of fashions.
Q. Can we do monthly payments to help spread the expense out?
Yeah, actually we've got several forms of payment, ranging from leasing, to hardware as a rental option. In this case, I'd really recommend that you reach out to your Loffler rep to have a discussion about your needs, whether it's operational, and so operational expense or capital expense.
Q. Can the solution work offline without a network connection?
Yes, they can be totally standalone. We can set them up in an anonymous mode, and safely operate the kiosk in that environment without any form of or need for a network. The biggest challenges obviously is if we need to do a software upgrade or a firmware update, it's going to require that network connection, which could be invoked. We can work with you on how to best handle that.
Q. Can we leverage Loffler's support systems and teams for this product if we need assistance?
Absolutely. Corey and I are really well versed in this technology. We understand how it works, not to mention we've got really strong back end support as it relates to anything IT. We've got great knowledge as it relates to printing as well for barcode or badge printing. So whether that's desktop support or support with the software, we have deep knowledge and capabilities to help you out.
Q. Do you have a range of device choices for kiosks and would it be best to schedule a personalized follow-up meeting?
Yes, we really recommend that those personalized meetings happen. We're really not just selling these devices to anybody and everybody. It's really about understanding the operational needs to make sure that the device that we present meets your operational requirements.
Q. How do the kiosks alert you of a high temperature? Is it a sound or an alarm?
Yes. On the kiosks it is both a sound or a bell and it's an LED indicator that's either red or green. Green obviously being go and red being stop. On the walk-through mass temperature solutions, those can be tied to those same types of devices, it just depends on what your needs are, and what we would build into the recommendation.
Q. When a temperature is above the threshold, who gets notified and how does the person who gets notified then know whose temp was above the threshold?
Notification can happen via email or text message. The kiosk can be set to take a snapshot, and send that in an email so you would know who was alerted or identified. On the above temperature threshold on the mass screening solution, you're going to have a person there that's watching that screen in that environment. So they're going to know exactly which person it is because that's in a live running environment.
We really want to say thank you for joining our webinar. Please reach out to your Loffler rep to get engaged. Again, we have taken a position in a number of these technologies and lead times. I know lead times are gonna stretch and I'm sorry about that, but that's unfortunately how the situation will run. Again, thank you for your time, and have a great day.