Fever screening

IEC 80601-2-59
Edition 1.0 2008-10
INTERNATIONAL
STANDARD
Medical electrical equipment –
Part 2-59: Particular requirements for the basic safety and essential performance of screening thermographs for human febrile temperature screening

ICS.040.55
ISB8318-1004-511
Note In late 2008, IEC published the standard: IEC 80601-2-59 Ed. 1.0 “Medical electrical equipment – Part 2-59: Particular requirements for the basic safety and essential performance of screening thermographs for human febrile temperature screening” . It provides many performance and calibration requirements for devices used in this application.
In March 2009, the ISO standard, ISO/TR 13154:2009 “Medical electrical equipment — Deployment, implementation and operational guidelines for identifying febrile humans using a screening thermograph”, was published. It bears directly on this use, and while not perfect, does represent a major milestone completed since SPRING Singapore began their effort to create workable standards in 2003.
The standards may be purchased and downloaded online at: www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=51236 and webstore.ansi.org RecordDetail.aspx?sku=IEC+80601-2-59+Ed.+1.0+b%3a2008 respectively.

COMMENT:
The current publicity about airport screening for fever is often illustrated with infrared thermal cameras mounted on a wall or ceiling to record thermograms of the face. The intention is to stop people with a high temperature from travelling during periods of high infection risk. Manufacturers of  thermal cameras are finding heightened demand as airport authorities are preparing for screening should a pandemic fever be announced by the World Health Organisation.

As with any camera or imaging system, attention to detail, focus and in this case close up frontal; face imaging is required. A relatively small area in the inner corner of the eye (inner canthus) is used to record temperature that closely relates to internal body temperature. There must be an adequate number of pixels in that area to register temperature, and indicate the small difference between a normal healthy person and someone with a fever.

This is one important aspect of the new standard and guidelines published, which needs to be well publicised to those who are installing and managing such systems.

Prof. EFJ RING  Industrial and Academic Liaison,  Imaging Science Group RPS.

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