25-Aug-2020 AI-powered iThermo wins IPOS Innovation For Humanity Award Page Content In recognition of the efforts of Singaporean companies in their fight against COVID-19, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) conferred the Innovation For Humanity Award to local start-up KroniKare, who partnered with Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) (technology agency for public healthcare) to develop iThermo - a temperature screening solution powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) that screens and identifies febrile persons.As of July 2020, more than 160 iThermo units have been deployed at over 40 schools, 36 sports centers (including public swimming pools, gyms and stadiums), 5 community hospitals and nursing homes. Orders for an additional 900 units have already been placed. What is iThermo?iThermo is a lightweight solution that uses a smartphone/tablet fitted with thermal and 3D laser cameras. It is currently one of only a few temperature screening devices in Singapore that has been registered as a Class B medical device for general hospital use by the Health Sciences Authority. The AI application processes and analyses the images from the smartphone/tablet camera (which captures facial features) and maps them to images from the thermal camera (which measures temperatures) as well as the laser camera (which measures distance). This Smart Health solution powered by AI can:recognise human facial features from thermal images to measure the forehead temperature, including individuals wearing spectacles, surgical masks, hats and other headgear, even while they are walking. The solution is able to handle an estimated 5,000 individuals a day.calibrate the temperature reading taking into consideration the ambient temperature.incorporate distance analysis and compensation (as temperature measurements reduce with distance). It measures temperatures accurately up to a distance of three metres from the camera - a feature not found in other similar range solutions.provide audio alerts to indicate that a temperature has been recorded, as well as trigger alarms for secondary checks and send SMS/email notifications to flag febrile persons to multiple users. provide status reports and real-time updates via the dashboard with rate of traffic and the number of febrile persons identified. The dashboard can be connected to multiple cameras at different locations, and enable remote monitoring of the status at different sites.Benefits of iThermo Temperature screening is one of the most common ways of detecting initial symptoms of viral infections, such as required during the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, temperature screening with forehead thermometers requires close proximity, is time-consuming, manpower intensive and creates long queues that could increase the chance of spreading infection. As forehead thermometers are not meant for mass screening, their rate of malfunction and accuracy in identifying febrile cases may not meet the requirements of mass screening.iThermo can significantly reduce the workload of temperature screening staff. Instead of taking forehead temperatures and needing close contact with every person, screening staff only need to manually record the temperatures of suspected cases detected by iThermo. iThermo performs the mass screening and alerts the staff with audible sounds and visual prompts identifying the febrile person, while staff can perform other tasks. When alerted to a febrile person, staff can then confirm with forehead or ear (tympanic) thermometers. This process can result in significant productivity gains, avoidance of human error and smoother flow of people into facilities while ensuring safety.The anonymous, non-personal data collected from screenings (location, device, time, temperature and alert) can be sent to a dashboard to support operations monitoring. Development JourneyiThermo was conceptualised by IHiS and co-developed by software engineers from KroniKare and IHiS. The solution was adapted from the patented KroniKare Wound Scanner, which provides wound assessments in under 30 seconds.iThermo was developed based on Enterprise Singapore’s fever guidelines, specifically “Singapore Standard 582 - Specification for thermal imagers for human temperature screening.” Rigorous tests and trials were carried out on 3,500 individuals in hospitals, polyclinics, commercial buildings and dormitories to ensure best-in-class temperature screening for both Type 1 (walk past tests) and Type 2 (standing test).During clinical trials conducted in Singapore, iThermo was compared to a forehead thermometer (as the benchmark), and tympanic thermometer (as the gold standard). Results showed iThermo to be more accurate compared to forehead thermometers.Conceptualisation to proof-of-concept took less than two weeks. iThermo is also the only temperature screening device in its class that has been validated in independent testing by TUV-SUD. Incubation JourneyIHiS constantly seeks out partnerships with companies and start-ups to incubate development of HealthTech solutions that contribute to a healthier nation. KroniKare was able to tap on IHiS’ capabilities, experience, framework and network of healthcare partners. IHiS seeded the idea of creating a new product based on KroniKare’s existing wound scanner, then worked with KroniKare to co-develop iThermo, lobby healthcare partners to trial the product, work on refinements and resolve challenges to achieve medical device registration.As a young, deep-tech start-up, one of KroniKare’s biggest challenges was navigating the healthcare system, from engaging stakeholders to operating within a strictly regulated healthcare environment. Having previously worked together on the KroniKare Wound Scanner, IHiS was able to help KroniKare navigate the complex process of validation to ensure that iThermo passed the strict guidelines necessary for HSA Class B medical device registration.KroniKare noted that while the idea of iThermo is relatively simple considering KroniKare’s AI expertise, the challenge lies in the complexities of product testing, validating the solution in a real world environment, producing it at the right price and supporting it with the right service level. There is also a need to ensure that iThermo is deployed in the field in a way that maximises the value of the device while working around the limitation of infra-red technologies.iThermo User Feedback The Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) initially deployed 5 units in a sheltered area where temperature-recording was required for students and trainees. iThermo helped to automate a process which was previously carried out manually with forehead scanners. The overall time required to record temperatures was reduced significantly as students could simply walk past the scanner instead of stopping to have their temperature taken. Staff were able to be redeployed to focus on other areas instead.An APSN spokesperson said, “taking individual temperatures has become a new norm since the COVID-19 pandemic started. For an organisation like APSN, temperature taking can be challenging as this process will require our teachers to manually screen students one at a time.“To protect our students and not cause too many changes to their routine, we need to make sure we can carry out temperature taking in a fast, accurate, and efficient manner so that we do not need to spend too much time and deploy too many resources to help with this simple process.”“With iThermo, the temperature taking process is now automated thus freeing up our teachers and staff to focus on other areas of needs.”The spokesperson added, “thermal scanning is not something new, however, a solution that can provide us with accurate temperature readings as precise as an ear scan thermometer is something that makes iThermo unique.”APSN will deploy an additional 4 units in their schools. Ang Mo Kio Thye Hua Kwan Hospital deployed a unit at the main lobby of their main building. The equipment was able to detect the temperature readings of up to 3 persons concurrently within 0.1 seconds. This allowed the smooth flow of staff, visitors and clients without any disruptions, especially during peak visiting hours. This iThermo unit was donated to AMKH by a local foundation after the completion of a trial period.