Locations Continue to Embrace Temperature Screening, Facial Recognition Kiosks in Response to COVID-19

Customer locations in nearly every sector are investing in temperature screening kiosks to protect visitors and employees from COVID-19.

As people worldwide continue to struggle with restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic, businesses, institutions, hospitals, airports and government facilities by the tens of thousands are deploying temperature check and facial recognition kiosks to protect visitors and employees.

Kiosk Marketplace has reported on numerous businesses and organizations that have introduced temperature screening kiosks over the past several months, and the momentum continues. Most of the new temperature detection platforms include infrared sensors paired with facial recognition cameras.

Museum repurposes virtual assistant

The Ontario Regiment Museum Oshawa, Canada, recently repurposed a virtual assistant programmed to check-in visitors to also check temperatures after the museum was forced to close in March.

"Now we need to be able to screen visitors," Jeremy Blowers, the museum's executive director, told Kiosk Marketplace. The PC has a thermal sensor to detect temperatures and natural language processing that allows the animated virtual agent to ask and answer health related questions. The museum can deny entry to users who present a risk based on their temperature or their answers to health questions.

The museum, which displays tanks and other artifacts, reopened on Aug. 15 for limited hours on weekends, and none of the organization's 140 members have taken ill from the pandemic, Blowers said.

Hospitals respond to pandemic

Hospitals have also found temperature screening critical to their operations.

Holy Family Memorial Hospital in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, recently installed contactless temperature screening kiosks on its campuses, replacing in-person screeners to protect patients, visitors and employees. The kiosk measures the visitor's temperature within a few seconds, and indicates whether they have a fever. It also serves as a visible reminder of the importance of vigilance with COVID-19.

"The goal of this technology is to provide the safest possible care and environment for our patients, visitors and employees," Tom Veeser, the hospital's chief nursing officer and vice president of quality, said in a prepared statement.

Baptist Health South Florida, a Coral Gables, Florida based health care organization with 10 hospitals and more than 50 outpatient centers, has installed automatic temperature screening kiosks in all of its hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care centers and other facilities.

"With automated, non-contact temperature screening, you simply step up to the device and in less than a second, it lets you know if you have a fever," Jonathan Fialkow, M.D., deputy medical director, chief of cardiology at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute and chief population health officer for Baptist Health South Florida, said in a prepared statement. "The technology is completely safe and accurate. It will even remind you to place your mask on."

Government, non-profits respond

Government and non-profit organizations have taken similar actions.

In July, the office of emergency management in Cameron County, Texas, announced it secured a contract for facial temperature check kiosks for county facilities used by the public. The kiosks are equipped with thermal cameras and will instruct employees and visitors to wear facial covering before screening their temperatures.

Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington, which oversees a 92-acre urban forest retreat for Northwest communities, plans to install temperature sensing kiosks as part of a pilot effort to enhance the health, safety and security of participating employees and special event visitors, according to a press release.

Private companies respond

Private companies in nearly all industries that serve the public are investing in the technology as well.

SMS International Shore Operations, a provider of passenger logistics services for cruise ships, announced plans to install kiosks to automate the health check questionnaire process and provide temperature screening as part of its new health and safety initiative due to COVID-19.

Samuel Mifsud, managing director, said the technology will allow existing and future clients to be a step ahead of resuming safe cruise operations.

Temperature verification and facial recognition have also proven their value as a COVID-19 response mechanism in manufacturing environments. TempSafe™ was one of the first U.S. companies to introduce this technology as a COVID-19 response with its Personnel Management Kiosk, released this past April.

For manufacturers, the TempSafe™ technology offers the following benefits:

  • Reduces absences and, as a result, prevent production slowdowns with temperature screening.
  • Deters sick employees from coming to work.
  • Ensures security by ensuring only permitted employees are allowed to scan in and enter.
  • Ensures health and safety compliance with mask detection.
  • Manages the system easily and remotely manage using the company's MIPS software.

The Personnel Management Kiosk marks TempSafe's entry into facial recognition and the first time the company has incorporated no-contact temperature verification capabilities.