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London pilot paves way for faster hospital access

Thermal screening technology supported by facial recognition is helping to speed up the flow of patients through hospital doors.

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A pilot scheme at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust scanned 500,000 people using a system called ThermaFY Protect.

The devices have now been permanently installed and are processing 8,000 patients and staff members daily.

ThermaFY uses a thermal camera which operates from a distance and uses face recognition to build a heat map of a person to calculate body temperatures within seconds.

Using a combination of temperature readings and staff IDs and patient / visitor QR codes, the system also provides useful data for the hospital in protecting itself against COVID-19 and other infections.

ThermaFY Protect has been rolled out across all of the London trust’s hospitals.

As part of its CW Innovation programme, run jointly with its charity CW+, the trust approached tech firm ThermaFY at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak to codevelop and install automated temperature scanning stations.

ThermaFY’s founder and chief executive of Amanda Pickford said: “It’s been fantastic working with the team at Chelsea and Westminster, who share our entrepreneurial vision and have acted quickly and collaboratively to improve patient and staff safety.”

The CW Innovation programme identifies and tests new innovations and approaches with the aim of scaling and replicating “high-impact initiatives” across the NHS.

Dominic Conlin, hospital director at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, said: “[ThermaFY’s] visibility as soon as anyone enters one of our buildings is pivotal, improving confidence in our stringent infection control measures.

“Furthermore, the technology allows us to develop the approach for multiple scenarios.”

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