Thermal imaging technology becoming popular as Texas begins to reopen

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As the state of Texas gradually begins to reopen, some businesses and institutions are adopting new security methods to help minimize the threat of COVID-19.

Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center has already started using thermal imaging technology to detect body temperature as people come in.

The scanner can detect when a person has a temperature above what is higher than it should be, and it's non-invasive, so staff in charge of monitoring can avoid close contact with each person entering the hospital.

"It's just a quicker process that allows us to get the patient to where they need to go and the employees where they need to go in a very safe manner without having to physically touch them," said Stephen Simington, project manager with Memorial Hermann.

The technology is also becoming popular with businesses.

"These cameras have been around for a while, but not necessarily used for this purpose," said Heather Sherman with Texas Surveillance and Security.

The company sells and installs thermal imaging cameras they say can scan 10 to 20 people at a time, allowing businesses to keep foot traffic flowing without a long line.

"It's very easy to move, and they're placed on a tripod," She said. "So, most people will put them where a doorway would be."

An alarm goes off when a person's temperature is too high.

"When everyone starts to open their doors and people start flowing in, it's a proactive way to kind of weed out people that are possibly carrying the coronavirus," she said.

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