Four in Five Americans Favor Thermal Imaging Screening for Public Health
ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to a new FLIR Systems survey conducted online by The Harris Poll July 28-30, 2020, among more than 2,000 adults in the United States, Americans overwhelmingly favor requiring thermal temperature screening to enter many semi-public and private venues to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The survey, commissioned by FLIR Systems, also found that thermal temperature screening makes people feel more comfortable at airports, entering their workplace, attending events, such as sports and concerts, and visiting hospitals and doctor’s offices, offering confidence to entrants that they are safer and less likely to be exposed to COVID-19.
According to the FLIR survey, Americans support temperature screening to protect the public’s health despite potential concerns about personal freedoms. The vast majority, 82% of respondents, say thermal temperature screening is “worth it for the sake of public health” versus only 18%, who view the process as a “violation of personal freedom.” More than any other group, Americans 65 and older say thermal imaging screening would make them more likely to attend activities by an average of 5-10 percentage points compared to other age groups.
“This recent poll shows that the general public recognizes how thermal imaging screening can help improve public health and safety,” said Chris Bainter, Vice President of Business Development, Solutions business at FLIR. “When used properly and with the appropriate equipment, thermal imaging screening can quickly and safely identify at-risk individuals for further screening.”
The new FLIR survey echoes results from a previous Harris Poll survey conducted March 28-30, 2020, where a large majority of Americans (84%) say they would support a required health screening before someone could be allowed to enter certain crowded public spaces and (77%) in businesses such as restaurants, offices and cinemas.
Respondents Concerned about Accuracy, Wait Times
Respondents cited accuracy of temperature screening as a top concern. Asked whether the readings “may not always be accurate,” 41% say this is a major concern, while 59% say it’s either a minor concern or not a concern at all. Potentially longer lines (31%) and the privacy of personal data (34%) are also mentioned as being a “major concern” by survey respondents.
“Thermal temperature screening does not require the collection of any personally identifiable information to be an effective solution as part of a broader health and safety program,” said Bainter. “Thermal imaging offers a quick method to screen individuals, accurate within a fraction of a degree, while enabling operators and subjects alike to maintain recommended social distances.”
Why Thermal Cameras?
A thermal imaging camera produces images that show infrared, or heat, radiation that is emitted and reflected by everything in the known universe, including people. This means thermal cameras can create and continually update a visual heat map of skin temperatures to easily identify temperature anomalies in mere moments, making this technology very useful for rapidly screening large numbers of people.
To see the full results of the Harris Poll, visit: https://www.flir.com/news-center/public-safety/harris-poll-4-in-5-americans-support-thermal-screening-for-public-health/.
For more details about how elevated skin temperature screening with thermal imaging works, visit: https://www.flir.com/discover/public-safety/what-is-elevated-skin-temperature-screening/.
About FLIR Systems, Inc.
Founded in 1978, FLIR Systems is a world-leading industrial technology company focused on intelligent sensing solutions for defense and industrial applications. FLIR Systems’ vision is to be “The World’s Sixth Sense,” creating technologies to help professionals make more informed decisions that save lives and livelihoods. For more information, please visit www.flir.com and follow @flir.
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