As businesses struggle to come up with the safest way to reopen, Dallas company Wello offers a solution to the problem. Wello’s thermometer kiosks are a self-service device that checks temperatures and helps sort out customers, employees, or residents who might have fever.
When a guest steps close to the temperature kiosks they will see a portrait of themselves and two holes spaced like eyes. “You set it up where your eyes fit those holes. The facial detection determines that it’s a human, and it’s ready to have its temperature taken,” Rik Heller, CEO of Wello Inc, says. “Within two seconds, you get your core temperature, all coming off your forehead and inner canthus (where upper and lower eyelid meet).”
Once the temperature is taken, the device prints a sticker of the person that includes their temperature and the date the temperature was taken. Heller said the devices have been used since the Ebola outbreak. The screening kiosks were used at Dallas elementary schools near Presbyterian Hospital where a patient was being treated for the virus.
COVID-19 has increased interest in the product, and the device has been installed at hospitals, childcare facilities, and police and fire stations. There are limitations, though. Many of those with the virus never exhibit any symptoms, meaning a temperature check would not stop them from spreading the disease.
“We’re approaching 1000 sites. In February, we beat our entire year’s plan,” Heller said. “Then it kept doubling every two months. At the end of the year, we’ll probably be somewhere between 3000 and 6000 units.”
Heller said that Wello doesn’t sell any of the scans to outside organizations but instead focuses on helping customers understand how to read the scans. The temperature kiosk can help determine an individual’s average temperature and whether or not they may have a fever.
“We can tell that [an individual’s] average temperature plus one and a half degree Fahrenheit equals, with very high confidence, an infection, most likely contagious,” Heller said. “No longer do our customers have to use the CDC guidelines if they want to know if they have a contagious visitor or employee. Our algorithm works very nicely.”