Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS), the national HIT agency in Singapore, has partnered with local healthcare AI startup Kronikare to pilot iThermo – an AI-powered temperature screening solution that screens and identifies those having or showing symptoms of fever. iThermo is currently being piloted at IHiS headquarters in Serangoon North and St. Andrews Community Hospital (SACH) from 10 and 11 February onwards respectively in “live” operational environments.

WHY IT MATTERS

With the growing threat of the COVID-19 (which was recently renamed by the WHO, formerly known as 2019-nCOV), Singapore has officially raised its ‘Disease Outbreak Response System Condition’ (DORSCON) alert level from yellow to orange on 7 February. The DORSCON orange status means that the COVID-19 disease spread in the country is severe but contained. As of 14 February, there are 67 confirmed cases of the disease. As part of the DORSCON orange status, temperature screening and monitoring becomes mandatory for most public spaces. 

iThermo reduces the need for manual temperature screening, and provides prompts where secondary checks can be carried out for feverish persons identified by the solution. With iThermo, less time is taken to conduct manual screening and it also reduces the exposure risks to viruses of frontline medical staff. 

HOW IT WORKS

iThermo uses a smart phone fitted with thermal and 3D laser cameras. The AI application processes and analyzes the images from the smartphone camera (which captures facial features) and maps them to images from the thermal camera (which measures temperature) as well as the laser camera (which measures distance). 

The Smart Health solution utilizing AI is able to recognize human facial features from thermal images to measure the forehead temperature, including individuals wearing spectacles, surgical masks, hats and other headgear, even when they are walking. The solution can carry out this function for up to 5000 persons in a day.

The solution also incorporates distance analysis and compensation (as temperature measurements reduce with distance). It can measure temperatures accurately up to a distance of three meters from the camera (a feature not found in other similar range solutions).

Critically, the AI solution can also provide status reports and real-time updates via the dashboard with rate of traffic and how many febrile persons were identified. The dashboard can be connected to multiple cameras at different locations, and enable remote monitoring of the status at different sites.

ON THE RECORD

“Healthcare institutions and many businesses find it challenging to perform large scale temperature screening at speed. AI can help. The iThermo solution uses mobile phones with thermal and laser cameras, and an AI app to seamlessly detect people who may have fever, as they walk by. The app will generate an alert if a febrile person is detected. This reduces scanning fatigue, manpower and time. IHiS and Kronikare co-created the iThermo solution in two weeks. It is being piloted now and the results are encouraging. We have received enquiries from healthcare institutions and other sectors including retail and banking,” said Bruce Liang, Chief Executive Officer, IHiS, in a statement.

Hossein Nejati, CTO and Co-founder, Kronikare, said: “KroniKare has been working closely with IHiS to introduce the use of AI in healthcare through automatic processing of multi-spectral images for diagnostic purposes. Together with IHiS, we were able to very quickly re-purpose our device using the same hardware, but different software, to perform real-time temperature screening. Our co-development with IHiS has helped us to be agile and enabled us to swiftly develop this solution, deploy a proof-of-concept and pilot in such a short time to respond to a critical period such as this.”

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