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What’s the temperature of a city's population?

What’s the temperature of a city's population?

The Swedish city of Helsingborg now has the means to measure that

Earlier this month, innovation news from the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) came from the Swedish city of Helsingborg, whose administration announced the implementation of a 2-year project that will measure the collective temperature of its population by installing sensors at the city’s Central Station, which will capture the body heat of passers-by.

Knowing this vital sign can be a good warning indicator of upcoming epidemics and the data gathered in the process can help authorities plan for health promotion initiatives, as well.

The Covid pandemic is already causing authorities to think about smart preventive measures

The measuring system that will be installed at the station, where there is a steady and regular flow of foot traffic, is called Epitrend and was developed by Spectronic Medical. The captured data about the average body temperature will be used to create statistical trends over time, which in turn will be freely available for viewing via a web portal.

With the help of remote sensors that capture the body temperature of large groups of people, authorities will be able to easily and safely get the warning signs on approaching epidemics, such as the flu season which happens every year. After all, we should not forget that even before COVID infectious epidemics were part and parcel of human life and will continue to be so after this pandemic has been overcome.

Naturally, the introduction of any kind of government surveillance technology tends to bring apprehensions among some people about the invasion of privacy. Authorities are quick to dissuade such concerns by stating that all of the data will be processed within the sensors before being released as statistics.

This means that information will refer to the collective body temperature and it will not be possible to go into the sensor and find out what any particular individual’s temperature was.

The project is currently in its testing phase and its results can already be consulted by visiting this link (in Swedish).

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