Innovation, News, Secondary Care

Chelsea and Westminster milestone as trust uses thermal imaging to scan two million visitors

Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust has hit a unique milestone – successfully scanning two million visitors for COVID-19 and other infections at its hospitals over the past year.

As previously reported by HTN, the trust has been using thermal imaging technology to scan those entering its hospital sites for the last 12 months.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust first introduced ThermaFY Protect, a bespoke thermal screening technology that builds a heat map of a person from a distance to calculate body temperatures in seconds, as a pilot before announcing it was to roll the innovation out across all remaining entrances and off-site clinics from April of this year.

New data from the trust shows that the thermal technology has led to two million scans being conducted in the last year, with over 8,500 patients and staff scanned every day, and nearly 4,000 ‘hot scans’ being read overall.

Co-developed by the trust, the screening product combines thermal cameras and face recognition software to create the maps and calculate temperatures. The readings are then paired with identification, such as staff IDs and patient / visitor QR codes, to reduce the need for hand-held devices and queuing at entrances, and to provide valuable data.

As part of its CW Innovation programme, the trust approached ThermaFY at the beginning of the pandemic to work on and install the automated temperature scanning stations at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital.

Although initially introduced to help combat the spread of COVID-19, it’s thought the stations can be useful for detecting other infections and that the initiative has improved confidence in the trust’s infection control measures.

Dominic Conlin, Hospital Director at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, says: “One year on, it’s not only great to see the significant benefit ThermaFY Protect has had as a key part of a package of actions that have been used to manage the spread of COVID-19 across our hospitals, it’s also important to recognise the incredible joint working that tested and scaled this service so quickly – it’s a great example of our approach to innovation and how well we are working with our partners and responding to the challenge of COVID-19.”

Amanda Pickford, Chief Executive at ThermaFY, says: “We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust hitting another milestone of 2 million people scanned. We very much look forward to the months ahead developing our innovative proposition to help maintain the safety of staff, patients and visitors entering the hospitals.”

News of the scanning story milestone comes shortly after Chelsea and Westminster, and its charity CW+, celebrated the two-year anniversary of the Innovation programme, which has seen over £3.2 million of investment in a range of initiatives, such as this one.

Other COVID-19 related innovations and solutions from the trust include the Acute COVID app, which supports NHS staff who have been redeployed to work with respiratory patients.