Edinburgh firm unveils tech to detect potential coronavirus cases

An Edinburgh-based IT company has unveiled what it says is a fast and accurate track and trace system that uses facial recognition and thermal imaging to detect potential cases of Covid-19.

The firm’s scanning technology can assess up to 30 people a second. Picture: contributed.

Purview Services said it has invested £400,000 in the technology that can enable mass screening in areas of significant footfall such as airports, hospitals, shopping malls, train stations and stadiums.

It also said all future assembly and manufacturing will be located in Scotland, with designs developed in partnership with local universities to improve economic and environmental sustainability and aid economic recovery.

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Purview said its offering enables officials to automatically monitor high volumes of people for Covid-19 and take prompt action to isolate anyone with suspected symptoms. The technology was developed by the business’ chief executive Reddy Punna, who himself was diagnosed with Covid-19 on a business trip to India.

The firm says the system can scan 30 people a second and will indicate those at higher risk of Covid-19 infection so that they are swiftly detected and contained.

Punna, who is currently unable to return to Scotland, has focused on developing the facial recognition and thermal imaging technology whilst in India. He said it has been successfully trialled and installed to monitor passengers’ temperatures at Vijayawada and Rajahmundry airports in the state of Andhra Pradesh, with further trials now under way at Bangalore Airport.

The technology is also being used at Secunderabad Railway Station, a commuter rail hub near Hyderabad, plus hospitals, hotels and many other high-volume footfall sites in the region.

Enquiries

Purview Services said that in the UK it has already received further enquiries from care homes, places of worship, hairdressers and various retail sites as they gear up to welcome back large numbers of people.

Punna said: “Immediate protection from the Covid-19 pandemic requires compliance with test, trace, isolate and protection strategies and we’ve done this through the development of our optical attendance and access system. The facial recognition and thermal imaging system can detect people’s temperature, the presence of a face mask and social distancing as they walk past the scanning technology at a rate of up to 30 per second and within a range field depth of nine metres.”

He added that people entering any venue with a high temperature can be identified and then diverted to be helped by officials to stop any potential spread of Covid-19. “Containment through an ‘attendance and access’ system with zero contact and temperature measurement can be a key to avoiding easy spread of the virus that can take place with a biometric access system.”

Purview added it can help trigger the tracing process to find who the identified person has been in contact with. It also said that while lockdown measures are easing, the public is mindful that the spread of Covid-19 is not fully contained “and until there is a wholesale decrease in infection rates, facial recognition and thermal imaging will give assurances to businesses that this type of technology can further reduce infection rates”.

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