Vanderbilt’s thermal cameras can scan for temps 130 feet away

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Temperature screenings at Vanderbilt University Medical Center now happen before you even enter the building.

As Director of Guest Services for VUMC, Dave Andrews said Vanderbilt must get essential employees to work quickly and in the safest way possible for them and visitors.

“Every day through the Vanderbilt campus, and 100 Oaks, we probably screen approximately 15-16,000 people and 70% of that is our own staff,” Andrews said.

The hospital invested in 20 of these sensor cameras now installed at entrances. Thermal technology detects real-time temps of people up to 130 feet away with an accuracy of plus or minus point 5.
If someone with a high body temperature attempts to enter the hospital screeners are alerted.

“We ask them to step over to our desk, and we retake their temperature,” explained Andrews. “Then we determine if we can allow someone to enter the building, or not, with that symptom.”

Guest and staff are still asked additional screening questions. “Have you had any of these COVID symptoms in that last seven days?” said a screener pointing to a chart with a list of symptoms.

Even still, eliminating manual temperature checks has cut the process in half. This technology also creates opportunities for the future. Medical administrators said these cameras can detect temperatures of up to 40 people at one time. “Imagine with a school, or a sporting event, or a concert series. It would be very helpful in that sense,” Andrews said.

According to Vanderbilt, the images are not recorded and information is not stored. This is simply another tool to increase effectiveness and efficiency during Covid-19.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

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