Mass contactless screening for viral infections, including COVID-19, is a viable first line of defence for New Zealand whether at the border or in the community.
Fever Screen Technologies (FST) has introduced proven screening technology to New Zealand that could increase confidence at the border and expand into new areas.
“With 4.4. million reported cases of COVID-19, and recent reports from India, it’s clear COVID-19 isn’t going away in a hurry. We won’t be able to vaccinate the world and be free of the pandemic in five years unless we’re innovative by deploying other detection tools,” says Kal Gwalani, who has 35 years at the forefront of technology, innovation, and strategy.
“Our idea for mass, contactless, fever screening emerged from the first lockdown, but New Zealand didn’t have this technology, so we looked overseas and found proven technology from Singapore, first developed in response to the SARS epidemic” he says.
“Singapore uses remote screening in airports, hospitals, government facilities and manufacturing environments,” says Ralph Shale. He has helped develop high-growth, technology-based start-ups and initiatives with local and government agencies, and was CFO at Rocket Lab.
FST has brought the Singaporean product into New Zealand because they believe our hand temperature testing of individuals in large volumes of foot traffic simply isn’t viable, cost-efficient or accurate.
“The sort of fever screening we’re proposing is proven to be a far more efficient and accurate contactless alternative with potential to be integrated with other technology such as the site access systems we deployed with at a manufacturing plant in Australia,” says Gwalani.
While it appears New Zealand lags countries such as Singapore, Israel, and Australia which are all open to innovation, the pandemic has seen an uptick here in digital health. This led the FST team to partner Nervotec, another Singaporean company, for contactless technology. This measures vital signs such as Heart Rate, SpO2 Oxygen Saturation, and Respiration through a visual scan with a smartphone camera app. Results are delivered results in ~30 secs
FST is offering Nervotec’s Awareness AI App to digital health providers for integration with their telehealth solutions who want a point of difference and create value for their customers. Shale says the next 12 months will see a lot of innovation driven by COVID-19 and New Zealand must focus on doing things differently, particularly with telehealth.
Both see huge potential for these technologies to be integrated into existing systems across telemedicine, health and wellbeing, fitness, even emergency workers and construction sites. For example, fever screening and vital signs detection can be incorporated in passport control kiosks, and access control systems with biometric scan for security.
They say it can also be combined with new devices such as Gwalani’s HUD shield™ which he developed at MangoteQ. This mart addition to current PPE for essential workers features a Heads-Up Display in the face shield (or protective goggles) with onboard cameras and hands-free operation, opening up a whole new category of smart wearable devices for delivering critical information, on demand.
“Combined, these innovations will prove invaluable. For example, a firefighter, in an earthquake will see hot spots displayed, locate trapped people from their thermal signature, and check vital signs by looking at their face,” says Gwalani. MangoteQ are excited about the global opportunity for their inventions and seek a visionary lead investor for their late seed round.