COVID-19 eGate Screening System
University of Sydney researchers and Sydney Children’s Hospital Network have launched an Australian-first COVID-19 eGate Internet of Things integrated entry screening system at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Tested earlier this year, and with potential for expansion in the future, the e-Gate provides an efficient screening and contact tracing process before people enter hospital.
Dr Audrey P Wang, the lead researcher in Biomedical Informatics and Digital Health from the University of Sydney, explains the system uses a QR code for physical gate-enabled access based on a combination of evidence-based COVID-19 screening questions and temperature checks.
“Our system utilises near real-time data analytics that are updated as case locations change or if further testing is required”. Dr. Wang said.
Sydney Children's Hospitals Network Project Lead and Director of ICT Mr Michael Dickinson said the system had been trialled by more than 1500 staff and regular visitors over the past eight months.
“Not only does the e-Gate have the ability to be easily expanded to other hospitals but, the internet-of-things smart approach to health screening during the pandemic could be useful in other large locations– such as airports and major sports/entertainment venues,” Mr Dickinson said.
“The all-in-one system not only provides self-assessment of symptoms but can be updated to include new sensors and collect information such as vaccination status”.
The pilot won the Health Award category in the 2021 IoT Awards.
The eGate research project is a collaboration between the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Medicine and Health, Faculty of Engineering, School of Architecture, Design and Planning and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, which is part of Sydney Children’s Hospital Network. It represents a multi-disciplinary collaboration facilitated by the Sydney Institute for Infectious Diseases.
The main idea of our smart sensing system is to improve the safety and efficiency of health screening check-points at large organisations such as hospitals. Our system aims to improve the self-awareness of COVID-19 risk factors such as commonly reported symptoms and hot spot locations in combination with contact tracing information.
A smart sensing system uses Internet of Things technology and has the capability to integrate information from our COVID-19 screening app and sensors such as an automated non-contact thermal camera that detects an individual’s body surface temperature.
The system will alert people and recommend further clinically defined checks such as COVID-19 testing such as polymerase chain reaction testing if a person has self-identified risk factors such as possible COVID-19 symptoms or if the sensor determines that their current body surface temperature exceeds the pre-determined threshold. When the system detects that the surface body temperature is above a pre-determined threshold, the smart sensing system will issue a warning to alert concierge staff to conduct further clinical checks such as testing for COVID-19. This system allows concierge staff who oversee the health screening to maintain physical distance from the health screening station and only require staff to intervene, as per their clinical policy and procedures if the alert was triggered.
*The system aims to support not replace clinical decision making by concierge staff by allowing remote or physically distanced monitoring.
Visitor with children