In the current world of COVID-19 we are inundated with data like daily infections, deaths per day, per country, per demographic and so forth.
Additionally, companies are obliged to collect data from everyone who enters their premises, including each person’s temperature. We’re going through this process when we enter barber shops, shopping centres, and churches. It creates the feeling that we are contributing to the fight against COVID-19, but are we really?
“In separate cases last week my temperature was recorded at an impossibly low 34.1 °C and 33.6 °C respectively” discloses Denis Bensch, “Yet neither of the people taking my temperature batted an eyelid when recording readings that indicated I was hypothermic”.
If you need a quick biology refresher - temperatures between 36.5°C and 37.5°C are considered within normal range, while anything below is considered hypothermic and anything above is indicative of a fever.
“Those readings indicated that I was either suffering from serious hypothermia or that the thermometers were delivering erroneous readings. Occam's razor suggests the latter” Bensch explains “Yet no one even batted an eyelid while recording my temperature”.
This problem is twofold:
- The employees weren’t trained well enough to know what temperature readings should be considered “abnormal”.
- The company and employees believed that they were helping slow down the spread of the coronavirus but, in reality their measures were the equivalent to prescribing a placebo.
Instead of knowing that they didn’t have a person with a fever entering their establishment, they only thought that they didn’t. Thereby compromising the true figures and throwing everybody else’s data into question.
“I am appealing to the businesses that are conducting this type of screening, please be conscientious about it. Make sure that your equipment works and that your employees are well trained and able to raise an alarm if a reading is outside of the expected boundaries – in either direction.
Bensch is the CIO of FlowCentric Technologies, and joint creator of the Eldir: EGAN solution, a next-generation workforce management solution designed to tightly manage access and temperature screening protocols.