Traditional security measures have always evolved to meet new threats. Think of it this way – it took thousands of years for the simple lock-and-key mechanism to become what we take for granted every day in our modern society. One of the newest and most valuable forms of security technology we have today is known as thermal imaging. As it turns out, thermal imaging systems have become even more crucial during the global pandemic crisis caused by COVID-19.
SIA and the FDA
The organization SIA sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about a month ago as of this writing; the letter was to reach out to the FDA’s current commissioner, Stephen Hahn. Why was the letter written? It was to help raise awareness that SIA had discovered how certain companies are flouting the guidelines established by the FDA in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This letter was developed and submitted back in October. Key stakeholders were consulted – at least within SIA’s team – representing thermal camera manufacturers and vendors along with other security firms that have a business interest or general interest in the concept of thermal imaging for security purposes.
Thermographic Camera Concerns
In any form of documentation, technical or otherwise, concerns must be communicated as clearly as possible. Many different causes for concern were outlined in the aforementioned letter; one of the main issues raised was how much time and money were being spent on research and development. Higher standards should be used to help define what constitutes a “medical device” in the eyes of the FDA. Unfortunately, untested products tend to be less expensive, and any easy solution can be a temptation. According to multiple media reports, it came to light that several products simply did not work the way they were reportedly intended to – and sadly, marketing is everything.
Some vendors and resellers also began claiming that thermographic camera tech and by extension, thermal imaging systems, do not count as medical devices. This claim presents a thorny dilemma – if they aren’t considered medical devices, then they don’t fall under the FDA’s purview. So what exactly is the FDA’s definition? In short, thermographic cameras should be screening subjects for their temperature. It also applies to any other device used to diagnose diseases and other medical conditions along with curing, mitigating, treating, and preventing disease in either people or animals.
Additional Input from Concerned SIA Members
Another major concern voiced by the SIA members is that certain products were claimed to be used for disease management, but they don’t actually fulfill this functionality. In turn, this leads to a false sense of safety and security that can lead to devastating results, even if a pandemic wasn’t currently affecting the entire world.
Trust the Professionals at ARK Systems
Located in Columbia, Maryland, ARK Systems provides unsurpassed quality and excellence in the security industry, from system design through to installation. We handle all aspects of security with local and remote locations. With over 30 years in the industry, ARK Systems is an experienced security contractor. Trust ARK to handle your most sensitive data storage, surveillance, and security solutions. Contact ARK Systems at 1-800-995-0189 or click here today. Check us out on Facebook and Twitter as well!