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Adroit. Using IoT Technology to Support Pandemic Response

When the pandemic arrived in New Zealand, the race was on to find effective ways to keep essential workers and workplaces Covid-free.

Using IoT Devices to Support Pandemic Response

Adroit fever scanner being used at a shared office space located in Auckland.

A high temperature is usually an indicator of ill health.

One strategy used overseas – but less so in Australasia – is temperature scanning. Popular in airports and border crossings in Asia, the idea behind fever scanning, is that a high temperature is usually an indicator of ill health. The New Zealand Ministry of Health guidance lists a high temperature (at least 38°C) as an important symptom of COVID-19, so monitoring of employee temperature is a key action businesses can take to protect their workplace.

Adroit was approached by a US-based tech company to develop the software and a circuit board component for the fever scanner, which integrated with existing off the shelf hardware components to enable speed to market.

Adroit entered into a development contract to build the hardware and software which was licensed to the American client so that they could sell the product in the North American market. As a result, Adroit’s Fever Scanner units are now deployed into businesses and schools across the US.

Back in New Zealand, Adroit was approached by local company Onelink seeking an effective shopfront Fever Scanner management system, to identify and alert management to potential issues and to help protect workers on site.

The Brief:

OneLink is an essential service that supplies DHBs and at the moment, all the Ministry of Health work sites around Auckland and New Zealand.

Kevin Clark, Health and Safety & Facilities Manager for OneLink says that the company needs to take all precautionary steps to mitigate any form of influenza or COVID outbreak in the workplace. A shutdown would not only impact the company but would cause havoc with supplies to the medical sector across New Zealand.

OneLink has around 100 people working on-site at any given time.

“Last year as a result of COVID, we had to take sort of precautionary steps to mitigate the likelihood of anybody with fevers and that coming in onto our work site,” Clark says.

“To start with, we had a security guard posted on our doors – having a handheld thermometer and pointing it at somebody’s head was threatening to a lot of people. So, we hunted around for something that was non-invasive, and contactless and came across Adroit scanners.

“So we approached Adroit to see if they could supply a complete solution.”

Fever scanner component boards

Hardware production of the fever scanner board to be distributed in the US.

The Solution:

Adroit is a specialist in the integration of IoT devices, including sensors from leading Global IoT distributor Libelium, with Adroit distributing their devices throughout New Zealand.

The Adroit team worked with OneLink to build a solution to allow this sensor to be automated and integrated into the OneLink business systems.

The solution needed to support self-scanning by the user within a specific temperature range, but also to alert management and the user immediately if the range was exceeded. It also needed to connect to security cameras so the employee could be identified.

Another feature, and something that is unique to the Adroit fever scanning solution, is ambient temperature compensation. This function means that the sensor adjusts the body temp algorithm to reflect the ambient temperature at the time, between 10 degrees and 35 degrees. Most other ones only work accurately at 21 degrees. This additional function helps eliminate false readings for workers coming in from outdoors on very hot days.

Project Result:

Kevin Clark is delighted by the Adroit system.
“We were able to take away a security guard in favour of a non-threatening temperature scanner and it worked really well. Then, because we’ve got two door entrances, we ended up getting two devices, and it’s worked perfectly ever since.

“We’ve had no red alerts as yet, they’ve all been within the temperature range that’s set on the devices. And if we do get a red alert, we have a process to follow up with other forms of temperature detection, such as getting a person to use an ear thermometer to test their own temperature to confirm it’s within a safe limit.

The advantage of the system is because it’s monitored.

We’ve got cameras above each device and we get alerts should a person enter the doorway with a red activation. And we can capture who it was through our security cameras.

“The device is only used once a day per person. So, each time they go in and out of a door, it’s only used once – normally when they first turn up for work. It doesn’t count how many times they go in and out of the door.

“The device is very simple and effective. You hardly notice it’s there.

“It’s now part of our entry criteria,” Clark says.

Other Considerations:

Clark says that the Adroit scanner solution is now “a necessity”.

“When we go into negotiations with a new business or renewing contracts with the DHBs, quite often we get asked what sort of security systems and health and safety protection we use.

“We are able to demonstrate that we’ve got this process in place, and when they consider that, they often say: “You guys take your business seriously!”

For more information about Fever Detection kits or to discuss Adroit custom system development, talk to Guy Macpherson.

Adroit Contactless Fever Scanner

The adroit Fever Scanner is a fast, accurate and automated device that enables organisations to detect individuals showing signs of fever.

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