A BROMSGROVE business that supplies some of the world’s largest firms has built a ‘highly accurate' screening solution that could help detect coronavirus – and aid companies to reopen fully.

Bytronic Automation, based in Blackwell – which counts Amazon, Coca-Cola, Jaguar Land Rover and Unilever among its clients – has launched a new thermal imaging device to detect illness.

The firm says the ‘HotSpot’ method is more reliable than other devices – within half a degree centigrade – because it measures the area around the tear duct, which is where the most accurate indication of body temperature is found.

As the pictures supplied to the Advertiser show, high temperatures automatically trigger an alert in the elevated body temperature (EBT) detection system as employees pass through.

This informs employers whether a worker has a possible fever or underlying infection, aiding firms to decide whether the person should be at work or not.

Dr John Dunlop, founder of Bytronic Automation and the man behind Hotspot thermal imaging technology, said: “The launch of this system is one small, but vital, measure to help combat the spread of disease and get businesses and transport hubs back open.

“We’ve combined Bytronic’s HotSpot software with our experience of vision systems and thermal inspection to provide a screening solution that’s highly accurate, meets all international standards and doesn’t require a constant human presence.”

The EBT system can be installed at existing barriers or building entrances and compares human body temperature to a fixed ‘black body’ temperature emitter within the same camera shot.

That emitter is constantly re-calibrated, giving an accuracy level of between 0.3 and 0.5 degrees centigrade.

For accuracy, the EBT system, which must be used with a high-resolution infrared camera, will only scan one face at a time, not groups or crowds, and with glasses or eye coverings removed.

In an open letter to industry, published this week, Dr Dunlop warned the margin for error in ‘off-the-shelf’ skin temperature software currently being rolled out across transport hubs, hospitality and offices could be up to six times’ greater than existing international standards allow.

Dr Dunlop said: “Checking temperature readings of crowds of people tells you something and nothing at the same time.

“Simple skin temperature readings may detect a person with a high fever, but factors such as exercise, clothing or even the weather could generate inaccurate readings.

“The margin for error could be up to three degrees, which in medical terms is the difference between good health and a serious cause for concern.

“To get an accurate reading, you must be able to measure the temperature around the tear ducts, the area of the body that is closest to internal body temperature, and for at least one to two seconds.”