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A Design for Low Cost and Scalable Non-Contact Fever Screening System

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Innovative Teaching Methods and Learning Models

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.34.1 - 22.34.18

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Paper Authors


Ross B Kaplan Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Ross Kaplan is an electromechanical engineering student studying at Wentworth Institute of Technology. He has experience in a wide variety of fields including nuclear and biomedical engineering. Interests include biomedical and digital systems.

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Timothy M Johnson P.E. Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Associate professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology since 2006. Interests include programming microprocessors, FPGA, Altera Nios II, and LabView.

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Ralf Oliver Schneider Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Ralf Schneider teaches Industrial Design coursework at the Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT).

He joined the faculty at WIT in the Fall of 2010, after several years teaching Industrial Design coursework at the University of Cincinnati and working as the Assistant Director / Senior Researcher at the Live Well Collaborative.

His research interests include industrial design research, interdisciplinary product development and design thinking.

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Shankar Muthu Krishnan Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Shankar Krishnan is the Director of Biomedical Engineering and H.C. Lord Chair Professor at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. After earning Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island, he has worked for over twenty years in academia, medical device industry and in hospitals, at the national and international levels. His research interests are biomedical signal and image processing, BME education, internship and program development, medical robotics, telemedicine and interoperability. His professional affiliation includes memberships in IEEE_ EMBS (SM), AAMI, ASEE, Amercian Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences), MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge.

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A DESIGN FOR LOW COST AND SCALABLE NON- CONTACT FEVER SCREENING SYSTEM Scientific advancements in multiple disciplines of engineering are independentlyoccurring at increasingly accelerated rates, and these achievements can be applied to a variety ofindustries, including defense, aerospace, and medicine. More specifically, in the modernhealthcare industry, biomedical engineers can provide solutions to physicians that are faced withthe growing challenges of rapidly detecting patient ailments. During a worldwide healthpandemic, health officials are faced with the daunting task of diagnosing patients quickly onlarge scales in a variety of venues. Current methods of non-contact fever screening detect fevers using highly sensitiveinfrared radiation based thermal imaging cameras but they are quite costly. While thermalimaging cameras may be effective for large scale fever screening, similar non-contact infraredbased thermal imaging technologies can be adapted to provide an effective and scalable methodof fever detection at a significantly lower cost for smaller venues, such as, libraries or schools.The objective of the project is to develop an innovative method and design for providing low-cost, scalable, fast, and effective fever screening to handle an influx of people, such as, a groupof students entering a laboratory or classroom during wide-spread flu situations. This innovative method for fever screening involves two separate non-contact thermalmeasurement phases; Automated and Manual. During the initial Automated phase, each subjectwalks through an entrance doorway and is screened using a Stationary Temperature Scanner(STS). If the Automated phase detects that a subject’s temperature is indicative of a fever, analarm notifies the operator that a subject requires the secondary Manual phase of temperaturescreening. During the Manual phase the subject is then screened using a hand-held PortableTemperature Scanner (PTS). The proposed system design is divided into four sections: Measurement, Control,Communication, and Monitoring (MCCM). Measurement consists of taking temperaturemeasurements using a compact and non-contact temperature sensor. The sensor selected for thissystem is a medical grade version of the Melexis MLX90614 series of smart temperaturesensors. Control and Communication encompass receiving temperature measurements andtransmitting them wirelessly to monitoring equipment, and implementation employs two TexasInstrument (TI) MSP430 microprocessor-based evaluation boards. The evaluation boardsselected are the TI EZ430-RF2500 for the stationary unit and the new TI EZ430 Chronos for thehand-held unit. Unique features of the evaluation boards include wireless communication, anLCD display on the EZ430-Chronos, customizable LED’s, and a Serial-to-USB converter.Monitoring is comprised of wireless data collection and recording, organization, interpretation,and fever indication. Laboratory testing of the proposed fever screening system has focused on validating thefever detecting abilities of the system by measuring the temperatures of a selected group ofsubjects using both the designed system and a reference digital thermometer. Preliminary testinghas validated the functionality of the stationary screening system. In conclusion, this undergraduate laboratory-developed system, applied to amultidisciplinary field, such as biomedical engineering shows feasibility of fever screening in asmall to medium scale subject cluster.

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