Protect. This will probably be one of the most used words today. Protect us and those around us, individually, family and as members of society. The State, businesses and organisations also, of course, have a responsibility to take care of their people.
Uncertain times, such as what we live in today, call for prudence and protection and, in order to feel safe, it is important to reinforce and identify new measures, to adopt preventive procedures and often more useful than those that are already applied. We need to anticipate anomalous situations and be prepared to respond appropriately in order to overcome our vulnerabilities.
It is time to act swiftly, now that we are witnessing the process of deconfinement, with the gradual resumption of economic activities and different services, as well as the return of workers to their workplace. The society in which we live is open to the movement of people and goods and it is therefore desirable that it continue.
In view of this, there will be a collective awareness of the need to focus on extraordinary measures to combat the spread of Covid-19, which safeguard public health, transmit security, but also preserve individual rights.
In this context, intelligent technology – using Artificial and non-invasive intelligence – may play an increasingly important role, already being integrated into equipment that responds to the current reality and is in compliance with state measures for this most adverse period. This is the case with Article 13(C) of Decree-Law No. 20/2020, where body temperature control is considered exclusively for reasons of protecting the health of one and third parties, with the safeguarding of the right to individual data protection.
Technological solutions using thermal imaging, which allow the detection of body temperature fluctuations in real time and do not keep individual records – in line with the legislation on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – have enormous potential, since they can be understood as the first line of defense in situations such as the one we are experiencing. We are expected to find new security and video surveillance systems of this nature more often on daily trips to public and private spaces such as hospitals, factories, supermarkets, offices, transport, universities or hospitals. In fact, it is already possible to observe the presence of thermal cameras that measure temperature to people in circulation at Portuguese airports and universities, such as nova medical school in Lisbon, an installation made with the objective of preventing infections through the detection of body temperature variations in teachers and students.
Aware that there is an immediate need that is transversal to different sectors of activity and that, more than ever, people’s safety is a priority, it is important to look closely at smart technological innovations as one of the keys that can help overcome some of the vulnerabilities that are identified.