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Oct 15, 2014 6:01 PM

Nashua company develops infrared cameras to screen for Ebola


NASHUA - The latest tool in the effort to keep Americans safe from ebola lies in a camera lens and infrared technology.

The same type of technology a Nashua company has been providing Asian airports with for more than a decade.

FLIR Systems Vice President of Test Equipment Sales Tom Scanlon said, "You might remember the Avian flu and SARS viruses. They immediately began looking at infrared technology as an approach for quickly scanning crowd passengers to determine whether or not there was anyone with an elevated body temperature entering Hong Kong, Taiwan or Bangkok."

Scanlon says it's an effective health screening tool, "What our technology allows you to do is take a snapshot of a person's temperature in the time it takes to review a passport. "

It's clear if someone's temperature is out of line with the norm.

Scanlon says it's the tear ducts are the closest match a person's external temperature (taken with an infrared camera) to their true core temperature (taken by a thermometer).

For that reason, he says group scanning won't work. The camera needs to be focused on a person's eyes to be effective.

Scanlon said, "A crowd, for example, you may have someone with a cap on or a hood. Very popular with teenage crowd, they might have a hood on and maybe they have sunglasses. You are not going to find a good temperature measurement area on someone who is dressed like that."

The glass blocks the infrared altogether.


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