An interview from the developers’ company
HEATDEC is a very precise and intelligent measuring system for automatic fever screening. It works extremely reliably – and even more: it has been shown that the system has so-called predictive properties. It can also make predictions. In addition, it offers numerous expansion options that make entrance controls efficient and reliable. Stefan Clemens, sales manager of GTE Industrieelektronik GmbH, and Dr. Daniel Meixner, Research & Development, explain why the device is so outstanding.
Why did you decide to develop HEATDEC?
Stefan Clemens: Customers asked us whether we could develop a non-contact fever measurement system, because fever is one of the main symptoms of COVID-19 infections, and body temperature is measured so frequently. We are specialized in automation and applied sensor technology since many years. That’s why we have approached the project of fever screening from the very beginning with the professionalism we are known for. This is due, among other things, to our deep competencies in early fire detection, e.g. our industrial fire and explosion detection systems, ADICOS. We have also looked for collaboration with doctors. We carry out our own series of tests in cooperation with hospitals.
What were the special challenges?
Daniel Meixner: A person’s body temperature is not the same at every place and is subject to daily fluctuations. Even on the face, the temperature can vary considerably from point to point. Spot thermometers are therefore not very reliable. In-ear measurements, on the other hand, are more accurate, but require face-to-face contact between visitors and staff. Automation with a thermal imaging camera was therefore the obvious choice. We decided to use particularly sensitive sensors with very high level of accuracy to record and evaluate the temperature distribution over the entire face.
Stefan Clemens: A person’s metabolism and body temperature differ depending on the time of day. In addition, anyone who works physically or is active in sports, e.g. as a cyclist, may have an increased body temperature. A sweat bath cools down again. However, if a visitor enters a building from outside out of the cold, the body first readjusts the temperature. All this can lead to falsification of the measurement results and we had to come up with an idea.
How do you achieve these reliable measurements?
Daniel Meixner: The relationships between body temperature and other boundary conditions are very complex. Instead of referencing to a fixed limit value of temperature, we dynamically adapt our evaluation to the environment. The system notices whether a person enters a building in the morning or in the evening, coming from a cold or warm environment. This gives us reliable results. If unusual values occur, e.g. because a face is rather hypothermic, the measuring process is prolonged in time and the evaluation is intensified according to further criteria. After a measurement, therefore, no concrete temperature is normally displayed, but the message “OK” or “Not OK” is given.
Stefan Clemens: It’s fascinating to see how reliably our measuring system works. HEATDEC has even proven to be predictable. For example, it happened that a person received the message “Not OK” on the device display early in the morning, even though he or she was still feeling healthy at the time of the measurement. In fact, a few hours later, the person got feverish. So with HEATDEC you can see early on when a person’s immune system is working intensively.
What service can customers expect from HEATDEC?
Stefan Clemens: HEATDEC still offers many possibilities to automate and customize the access routine. Whether a light or sound signal, a door opener, a turnstile or a freely selectable display, be it on the display on site or in a remote room of security or nursing staff – all this can be individually set up. In the meantime, the system even recognizes whether the person is wearing a face mask or not. By the way, there is no face recognition with HEATDEC. It can be used in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation in accordance with the GDPR. The device is robust, stable and easy to install. Our staff at GTE can respond individually to the customer’s wishes, we continuously optimize the measuring process and pass on software updates to our customers.
- All features of HEATDEC can be found in the product description: https://www.gte.de/product/heatdec/?lang=en