Never before in human history has a pathogen of the stature and malevolence of Ebola been unleashed upon a world characterized by dense population centers and widespread air travel. In the face of a dearth of data concerning this virus’ behavior, the medical community has developed some interesting strategies to lead the counterattack.
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When it comes to Ebola, distance is life. Possessing the capacity to screen large numbers of travelers for fever in a quick and efficient fashion without physical contact can be instrumental in halting the spread of this deadly disease.
A paramount aspect of preventing the spread of disease and saving lives is time—getting the sick the treatment they need and detecting medical problems in a speedy manner.
A revolutionary app from Opgal, an infrared imaging company, is helping to shave valuable seconds off of detection time. The mobile phone application Therm-App transforms Android smartphones into powerful thermal cameras capable of long-range thermography. With no intense installation needed, you can simply download the Therm-App application, attach the Therm-App device onto your Android phone, plug in the USB cable and begin screening.
The thermal images captured can be recorded and shared to create a backlog, allowing screeners to maintain a visual record to assist with contact tracing and subsequent quarantine, undoubtedly useful for medical professionals and their research of certain diseases.
One of the most valuable aspects of the Therm-App is its mobility. Medical professionals now have a unique tool in their toolbox when traveling or screening large numbers of people for communicable illnesses. The non-invasive Therm-App assists with pinpointing inflammation and sources of pain, the monitoring of localized conditions and the segregation of passengers with a high fever. Currently, the accuracy variance is +/- 3 degrees. While skin emissivity levels vary from person to person and can influence the accuracy and effectiveness of the reading, Therm-App still stands as a critical step forward in mobile temperature screening.
For more information, please visit Therm-App.com.
This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE ™ Spring 2015 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.
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by Will Dabbs, MD / Mar 20, 2015