The Abu Dhabi Department of Health of the United Arab Emirates has approved the use of special face scanners in public areas to curb the spread of COVID-19. The decision took effect today.
If face scanners locate a person potentially infected with COVID-19, the individual is not allowed to enter an area and a swab is placed within 24 hours to confirm or deny the scanner's diagnosis. The technology is called EDE scanner and has previously been tested in various locations in Abu Dhabi.
More than 20.000 people have been tested, with an efficacy of 90,3% in identifying virus positives and 83% when identifying negative individuals.
How does the system work in Abu Dhabi?
The technology works by measuring the electromagnetic waves that are altered when the COVID-19 virus RNA particles are present. It can therefore provide virtually instant results.
Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Undersecretary at the Abu Dhabi Department of Health, said: "Abu Dhabi has adopted an integrated strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. It is based on increased testing to ensure safe entry into the emirate, vaccination, and the continuous implementation of precautionary measures ".
The mechanism is similar to that of a scanner for detecting temperature. You position yourself 5 meters from the car, and in a few seconds a message arrives with the response. Green: no Covid. Red: problems. Of course, there is a 17% chance that a healthy individual will be declared infected, which is why tests are planned.
An approach that targets large numbers, and indeed the number of possible scans can potentially be gigantic.
Instant hunt for the virus, with devices that "see" it in real time
Not just Abu Dhabi, however: devices like these are taking a big step in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and helping people stay safe during these difficult times.
Last February, AMSI, an American company, announced a technology called COVID Hunter. It is the first portable Covid detector in the world, and in tests it has detected the virus with an efficacy of 99% (and instantly) in people and on surfaces.