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Reducing the Pandemic Threat through Thermal Scanning in Airports

Reducing the Pandemic Threat through Thermal Scanning in Airports

Over the past couple of decades, infectious diseases and lack of airport security measures, such as airport thermal scanning, have caused more damage to lives than wars and natural calamities. This may not have been the case if airports relied on advanced thermal screening, along with innovative AI solutions, to detect and isolate threats from moving crowds or travelers.

In 2016, the EBOLA outbreak claimed approximately 11,310 lives and by October 2020, the world has already witnessed more than a million deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This indicates the possibility and risk of more infectious diseases in the near future. Airport authorities need to plan ad-hoc measures that can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases for the sake of community impact.

Thermal Scanning – A Start Towards The Solution

Infectious diseases such as SARS, EBOLA, and COVID-19 have made two things clear — medical research takes time and containment is the only hope. According to experts, each coronavirus is distinct, which means there is no single cure for diseases caused by different types of coronaviruses, which is the name given to a genus of viruses. Therefore, the containment phase needs to be planned well in advance and that’s only possible through non-invasive thermal scanning.

Now, this becomes difficult for airport authorities because it requires investing in specialized equipment, skilled and trained resources, and more. We developed Scylla, a cost-efficient AI solution that provides real-time threat and thermal scanning through video feeds from any type of thermal cameras. Scylla ensures uninterrupted thermal scanning and eliminates the need to hire additional resources to individually screen travelers. In addition to that, Scylla helps identify persons with abnormal skin temperature and notifies the airport security personnel on their PCs or mobile devices. The concerned personnel may then isolate such persons with higher skin temperatures and run further tests on them.

How Thermal Screening can help overcome Airport Security Challenges?

Airport security with regards to infectious diseases involves two main challenges — threat isolation and compliance of the WHO’s preventive guidelines. As you are probably aware, the WHO has issued preventive guidelines such as wearing masks and social distancing. Maintaining safety and health guidelines at an airport can be a daunting task and may require hundreds of airport security personnel to risk their lives. This is neither morally nor financially feasible for an industry that continues to experience a steep decline in revenues.

Airlines around the world have reported losses worth billions of dollars due to the pandemic. With these circumstances, there is a need to reduce operational costs while continuing to abide by the CDC and WHO’s guidelines. Thermal screening is an efficient method to allow Scylla to work for you and simplify your airport operations and move quicker to stop the spread of the pandemic.

Scylla lets airport security staff detect the elevated skin temperature of a moving crowd without interrupting the day to day functions. During the SARS and EBOLA, thermal screening was highly effective in curbing those diseases in African and Asian countries.

Airport thermal scanning

What Should Airport Security Thermal Cameras Do?

When EBOLA was a concern, thermal cameras were only used for skin temperature detection and that worked just fine. At present, there is a need for an AI solution like Scylla that not only monitors skin temperature but also oversees compliance of preventive guidelines such as wearing masks and social distancing. As a result, Scylla’s AI solution is fully capable of detecting skin temperature after taking into account the surrounding factors. This ensures high accuracy and allows airports to deploy this cutting-edge solution which is cost-efficient and easy to manage.

Through integration with an airport’s current CCTV architecture, Scylla can provide non-invasive thermal scanning and AI detection. In addition to this, Scylla is designed to notify the airport security personnel of anomalies such as non-compliance with social distancing guidelines and can assist with contact tracing of citizens as needed to prevent the spread of infectious disease. So, if people are not maintaining the mandatory 6-feet distance or not wearing masks, then the airport security personnel receive a notification and may implement corrective measures.

Is Thermal Scanning a Long-Term Solution?

Yes, making thermal scanning a part of airport security is likely to reap long-term benefits. We say this confidently because a fever indicates that the body’s natural defenses are at work, combatting the cause for infection. Moreover, with EBOLA in 2016 and COVID-19 in 2020, it cannot be denied that there is every possibility of yet another infectious disease disrupting the world in the days to come. So, there needs to be a permanent detection mechanism in all public places, especially at the airports.

Many world leaders have blamed airport security for the spread of COVID-19, which could have been controlled during the initial stages, had there been proper airport security measures in place. COVID-19 was preceded by two other deadly infectious diseases, SARS and EBOLA. However, it is never too late to plan the right measures and one that complies with the existing data privacy laws and regulations such as the GDPR, which applies to the EU citizens. Scylla does all of this and more because it does not store any individual’s data and therefore does not breach anyone’s privacy.

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