Infrared Camera Can Help Detect H1N1 Flu

By | May 2, 2009

Infrared Camera Can Help Detect H1N1 Flu

An infrared camera that uses thermal imaging to screen people who may have a disease could help health officials put a stop to the H1N1 flu epidemic.

Wilsonville-based FLIR Systems creates cameras that use thermal imaging to detect a person’s body temperature. A person with a higher body temperature could be running a fever, which is a common symptom of the H1N1 flu.

After the camera picks out a “hot person” in a crowd, the person can be tested to see if they have an infectious disease.

“This technology is very important when you have a flu outbreak like this because we’re capable of scanning a very large number of people in a very short period of time,” said Andy Teich, of FLIR Systems. “So people exiting an airplane, people entering a building, crossing a border — we can look at a line of people.”

FLIR officials said they have sold hundreds of the cameras to various government agencies, airports, hospitals and schools worldwide to try to limit the spread of disease.

According to FLIR, the thermal imaging devices aren’t a complete solution for a disease like the flu, but they remain an effective way of identifying a person who could possibly be infected. The company said the technology may lead to lives and money being saved.

The cameras cost between $10,000 and $15,000. While they have been popular internationally, they have hardly been used at all in the United States. The company said that may change if the H1N1 flu becomes a pandemic.

via Infrared Camera Can Help Detect H1N1 Flu – Portland News Story – KPTV Portland.

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