Is Temperature Taking The Best Option to Detect Illness?

With the COVID-19 pandemic, there seems to be a notion (most likely from the images we saw from China with the thermal guns to foreheads) that taking temperature to determine if someone has a fever is a good methodology. In a recent study of more than 175 Northwell scientists, clinicians and others, they worked to collect and analyze the data on this topic.

The finding indicates “we need to be looking more broadly” than just at fever in determining whether someone may have COVID-19, said Karina W. Davidson, the lead author of the study and senior vice president at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research.

Here are the facts:

  • The “thermometer gun” has proved to be ineffective, as it tends to be unreliable outside carefully controlled health care settings.  This is according to medical officials and experts on infrared devices. (Source).
  • In terms of controlled health care settings, the CDC states that even if the operator is a healthcare professional that’s been properly trained using thermometer gun, he/she must do so over human surfaces that are dry / non-hairy location such as the forehead, and do all testing in a draft-free room at a constant temperature between 60.8°F (16°C) and 104°F (40°C), and at humidity below 85% (Source).  Therefore, the accuracy of readings can be off by +/- 2 degrees, depending on testing conditions.
  • More importantly, measuring body temperature does not provide adequate screening, as it can potentially miss people/travelers incubating the disease, or people/travelers concealing fever by use of temperature-suppressing medication or treatment.  And in doing so can contribute to the spread/importation of the virus (Source)
  • Instead, CDC recommends that initial diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 performed by collecting and testing an upper respiratory specimen in accordance with CDC’s testing protocol.. (Source).  Unfortunately, such testing is currently too costly, requires hours, and not readily available for massive scaling in public spaces around the globe.
  • Doctors and scientists around the world have confirmed the critical physiologic parameters that must be accurately measured to assure the highest efficacy of testing and to, therefore, screen people.  These parameters are:
    • External Body Temperature (measured in (°F or °C),
    • Respiration Rate (measured in breaths per minute)
    • Heart Rate (measured in beats per minute (BPM)
    • Blood Oxygen Level (measured in SpO2 %)
    • Blood Pressure (measured in units of millimeters of mercury (mmHg)).

The SymptomSense™ Medical Evaluation Gateway the world’s first and only device capable of simultaneously and accurately measuring External Body Temperature +  Respiration Rate + Heart Rate + Blood Oxygen Level, and soon Blood Pressure with zero contact to the human body, and with a test cycle time of ~5 seconds.

After a person is screened by SymptomSense™ the test results, including their body dimensions, are instantly printed on time-stamped & venue-stamped receipt.  In parallel, this data can be captured on a secure, encrypted Microsoft cloud for use by that site for real-time monitoring and predictive analytics.  On the latter, in compliance with local law, this data can be mapped to government systems.

Hope you can count on us and our engineers to be of any assistance, brainstorming, or feedback during your research and evaluation process to determine the necessary new-normal that will INSPIRE CONFIDENCE!

If interested in more information, please feel free to email me

Two important suggestions for decreasing virus spread and susceptibility: Inspiring people to feel safe and comfortable to get back out:

1. Health readings (all 4 vital signs) at all entryways; offices, restaurants, stadiums/arenas, broadway shows, concerts, hotels, meat packing facilities, etc.  This will allow us to know the person next to us is not sick, and at the same time will act as a deterrent to keep sick people home (if they know they will get their health checked).

2. Dry air vs Moist air is the critical factor in the spread or lack of spread of this virus:
All commercial properties must invest in proper “indoor” air quality as if they were a hospital or museum!  If the indoor humidity is above 50% (not more than +-60%), this has 3 huge benefits:
  • By keeping our mucous membranes moist, we maintain a natural barrier to infection that’s like a “bulletproof vest” protecting our lungs, nose and mouth from infection. Dry air, especially while sleeping, makes us vulnerable to infection.  Viruses are 10-100X more viable in dry air.
  • High humidity causes “friction” in the air that limits the distances that viruses can spread through the air. It markedly decreases the risk of person-to-person spread of infection.
  • Moisture keeps virus particles on surfaces from drying out, going airborne and getting into our lungs.

SPREAD:  DRY Air allows the virus droplets to stay in the air and to float around like feathers.  Moist (humid) air forces the droplets to the ground minimizing spread.

SUSCEPTIBILITY: DRY air dehydrates our mucous layers protecting our nose, throat and lungs.  Moist (humid) air keeps our protective linings hydrated and healthy and acts as a bulletproof barrier against the virus droplets

Forbes: This Inexpensive Action Lowers Hospital Infections And Protects Against Flu Season

Scientific America: Humidity Helps Fight Flu

American Society for Microbiology: Effects of Air Temperature and Relative Humidity on Coronavirus Survival on Surfaces

Medical News Today: How Humidity May Affect COVID-19 Outcome

Yale University School of Medicine: Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection

Yale News: Flu virus’ best friend: low humidity

Fighting Viruses with Glycans: Our mucosa (a membrane that lines inside of our mouth, nose, all airways, eyes, etc) is protecting our cells with a thick layer of glycans, but it has to be moist to be a functional barrier.

Our Health and Bodies are Connected to Indoor Moisture

Norm Joins Soter Technologies as Special Business Consultant

For venues considering health checks as part of their enhanced security measures for when we can FINALLY open back up for business!

I have been helping an amazing Long Island tech company whose claim-to-fame has been a VAPE detection device that most high schools in America utilize in their bathrooms in effort to deter kids from vaping.

They have recently developed a Medical Evaluation “Gateway” providing a fast, non-contact ability to determine an individual’s Body Temperature + Elevated Heart Rate + Chest Congestion + Shortness of Breath + Oxygen Level.  These are known to be the key symptoms that medical doctors look at in helping to determine if someone is suffering from a serious virus.

The form-factor and experience of the SymptomSense™ Medical Evaluation Gateway are similar to how TSA personnel screen people for not-permitted items at U.S. airport security checkpoints for ~20 years.

  • Having this information allows Retailers / Offices / Restaurants / Theaters / Hotels / Casinos / Stadiums/Arenas / Malls / Theme Parks’ security to quickly screen people prior to entering a facility.  So, your security team has increased situational awareness for current & predicted instances.
  • This helps to lower risk and provide management, employees, and visitors with a sense of increased reassurance.  We need this and more to calm our collective nerves right about now in dealing with Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Besides determining if a person entering your property is sick, there is also a metal detector embedded into the device so security will be alerted of they may be carrying a knife or a gun.

The feedback we are receiving from State and Federal authorities allow us to conclude that having a device like SymptomSense™ placed at entrances of any building or facility will be part of the new-normal.  A way to help lower risk & be an accelerant to recover business operations.

Feel free to ask me for more information!

By the way, the name Soter comes from the Greek god of protection.


Norm’s Suggestion of the Day; Get Humidifiers for your Bedrooms

The 25 Best Humidifiers of 2020 - Smart Style Today

I have been fortunate to work with a handful of incredible doctors and scientists who specialize in infectious disease, disease control as well as building A.I. “wellness monitoring” devices.  Their urgent recommendation is an easy step to take in the fight against the Coronavirus in your home (and PLEASE for the elderly in your family).  The important take away from this entire message is to achieve humidity above 50%, especially at night while you sleep to maintain hydration.

  1. By keeping our mucous membranes moist, we maintain a natural barrier to infection that’s like a “bulletproof vest” protecting our lungs, nose and mouth from infection. Dry air, especially while sleeping, makes us vulnerable to infection.  Viruses are 10-100X more viable in dry air.
  2. High humidity causes “friction” in the air that limits the distances that viruses can spread through the air. It markedly decreases the risk of person-to-person spread of infection.
  3. Moisture keeps virus particles on surfaces from drying out, going airborne and getting into our lungs.

In epidemiology, you have transmission and susceptibility.  Transmission is what sick people do and susceptibility is the measure of how difficult it is for well people to fend off illness.

Healthy lifestyles make for less susceptibility.  Respiratory diseases enter through the lungs.  Arguably sinuses but they’re fairly hardened.  We know this because 20% of humans have staph in their nasal passages and 20% of those are MRSA.  But the body is not infected.  So the lower respiratory tract is the area we want to protect.  Therefore the cilia, mucus coating the lungs (essentially skin) are able to stop the big droplets if they are properly hydrated. A doctor at Duke who obsessively studies cystic fibrosis (his son suffers) finds that around 65% or less hydration in the lung tissue makes you susceptible.  So if you breathe moist air (OR HYDRATE), you’ll avoid it.  At 15%RH room temperature you exhale about 20x more moisture than you inhale. At 50% its 5x.  So after 8 hours of not drinking water, you’re probably dehydrated when you wake up.  Getting on a scale at night and weighing yourself in the morning will prove this to you.

From Stephanie Taylor, MD, M. Arch, CIC (The Power of Indoor Air)
Graduated with Honors from Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
This virus attaches really deeply to the receptors in your lungs. So, while the common cold more likely attaches to your sinuses and throat, this attaches deep in your lungs, which causes you to get sicker.

It’s very clear that it’s transmitted through the environment. And this is both alarming and good news. We’ve known for a long time that viruses can be spread through droplets. If somebody sneezes and one of those wet droplets lands on you, or a few feet away from you, and then you rub your nose or the virus or bacteria get into your body, you have a high chance of getting sick. But the transmission pathway that we haven’t really wanted to think about is when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or simply breathes droplets into the air. If the air is dry, those droplets shrink and desiccate to reach a moisture equilibrium within the air around you. And we now know that the viruses in those very tiny desiccated particles can go up in the air, they can travel into an HVAC system and re-infect people who are quite far away and have had no immediate contact. That’s one of the things that makes this virus alarming. We can no longer deny airborne transmission of infectious aerosols.

The concept of airborne transmission of infectious droplets is scary, but we can help control it by keeping the relative humidity in our breathing zone or in our buildings between 40%-60%. This has turned out to be the magic zone. I think Mother Nature gave us that opportunity so we could survive. If you’re outdoors, even say in the winter, your relative humidity is typically in a fairly safe zone. It’s cold out and the low moisture content puts the relative humidity at 50%-60%. When we bring that cold air in the building, we warm it up to comfort temperatures, and all of a sudden relative humidity falls to 20%. And this is where we’re getting into trouble. Data and research show us that if people in offices, hospitals, and schools manage their indoor relative humidity at 40%-60%, humans’ mechanisms for physiological defense are improved.

There is some brilliant research from Yale that came out last May that really helps us understand how appropriate water vapor in our breathing zone bolsters our immune system.  If you can humidify your indoor environment to this moderate zone, you actually bring out the infectious particles. They are brought down from the air. Research from 2010 as well as up to up to a week ago from the NIH [National Institute of Health], Princeton, and Harvard shows that viruses in the air and on surfaces are inactivated when the relative humidity is maintained in that zone.

As human beings, we don’t do well in dry air, and these quickly mutating viruses and bacteria do. In dry air, they’re like, great, we can mutate, we can fly around, and we can find new hosts. So, one thing we can do is really think about the air. We can humidify from 40%-60%. There are other strategies, like UV-C light, which de-activates many organisms. Filtration can be very beneficial. Hydrogen peroxide misting is another one, and I’m sure I’m missing some. The one I like best is humidifying the indoor environment, because not only does it help support the air we breathe, it also bolsters our own immune systems, which is critical, especially now.

  • Jeffrey Gusky, MD is an emergency medicine physician in Dallas, Texas / Emergency Response Doctor in COVID-19
  • Stephanie Taylor, M.D., M. Arch, CIC
  • Rik Heller, Chairman, and CEO of Wello – Pioneering inventor of automated wireless temperature monitoring sensors and cloud-based technology for healthcare and food services; he recognized the need for improved disease control and contagion management.
  • Prof Gordan Lauc, PhD: Director of the National Centre of Research Excellence in PHC; Director of the Human Glycome Project / Member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars
    • Fighting Viruses with Glycans: Our mucosa (a membrane that lines inside of our mouth, nose, all airways, eyes, etc) is protecting our cells with a thick layer of glycans, but it has to be moist to be a functional barrier.

Please stay hydrated, healthy and safe!
All the best


“Hey Norm, This is doubtful!  Humidity in Miami is regularly over 75% and the virus seems to be spreading there just fine”

Rik Heller’s response:

Humidity is friction to epidemics. The problem with Florida is that AC is a dehumidifier. You can see the water coming out of the AC when it’s on. The AC is sized for comfort and lowers the humidity indoors to ~40%. Covid19 is very infectious as much as Norovirus (the Chipotle virus). The reason it travels around Cruise ships is because the AC desiccates air by 20% indoor @ room temp.

Anything around salt water gets a constant absolute humidity. It’s hard to talk RH, only AH or dewpoint. AH is grams/m3 .  Much simpler than RH to use. Rh is very misleading and hard for anyone to think about except at constant temperatures like to room temperature.

It’s why this subject is so confusing. Adding metric over initial measurements increases the confusion.

Norm Joins Artificial Intelligence Company Founded by A.I. Pioneer Who Coined The Term ‘Artificial General Intelligence’ (AGI)

As the world’s foremost authority on conversational A.I. based on a cognitive architecture, or what DARPA calls ‘The Third Wave of AI’, Peter Voss has been working with his team of A.I. Psychologists for more than 15 years to develop, commercialize, and perfect this technology.

The first generation of Aigo technology has been successfully commercialized for more than 10 years through SmartAction, while the second generation is now being aggressively commercialized via Aigo.AI.

Norm joins Aigo.AI as a Business and Sales Consultant, introducing an adaptive, contextual, conversational Artificial Intelligence based on cognitive architecture.  It remembers what is said, and it constantly learns; it’s so much more intuitive and intelligent than current chatbots (ML/DL), virtual assistants, Siri, Alexa, etc.

  • Aigo is the most advanced Natural Language Interaction platform.
  • Aigo is a generic intelligence engine – it is domain agnostic.
  • Aigo is software – it is hardware agnostic.
  • Aigo is multi-modal – Talk, Text, or Touch.
  • Aigo increases stickiness, loyalty, and user adoption by creating engaging customer experiences.
  • Aigo’s Brain scales from 10 users to 100 million users

Aigo is built on a mind-like integrated cognitive architecture. This is radically different from the other current chatbots and so-called ‘personal assistants’ and puts Aigo ‘Light Years’ ahead.

Aigo’s human-like cognition allows it to:

  • Remember what was said and utilize this in future conversations
  • Understand context and complex sentences
  • Use Reasoning to disambiguate and answer questions
  • Learn new facts and skills interactively, in real-time
  • Have ongoing, meaningful conversations
  • Hyper-personalize experiences based on user’s history, preferences and goals


Norm Joins Centurion VR as Strategic Advisor

Centurion VR is transforming the sport of cricket with its patented VR technology. Star India, the world’s leading broadcaster of cricket and a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is a major shareholder in Centurion VR.

Centurion’s ground-breaking virtual reality experience allows you to face bowling from some of the best cricketers in the world giving you the opportunity to hit them for a six or see if you will have your stumps rearranged. The system means users will be facing a virtual version of super quick yorkers and bouncers, or see the ball flying past their outside edge.

Centurion’s product has already proved to be a huge hit internationally, and with Centurion heading to the CPL this year, it means fans across the Caribbean can be closer to the action than ever before with the chance to enjoy the world’s best cricket batting simulation during this year’s tournament.

Norm Joins Supracam as Special Business/Sales Advisor

Supracam is comprised of a unique “cable camera” service, engineering and tech group that specializes in amazing live video shots for sporting events, music concerts and festivals from cables above:

Recent Projects include:

  • CBS Thursday Night Football
  • CBS Super Bowl 50 (Emmy Award)
  • NBC The Players Championship
  • NBC The US Open
  • ESPN NBA Draft
  • MBLAM Arizona Bowl
  • NBC Phoenix Open
  • NBC Ryder Cup
  • NFLN and ESPN NFL Draft
  • NFLN Super Bowl 50 Opening Night
  • NFLN Super Bowl LII (Emmy Award)
  • Taylor Swift – Red Music Video
  • Steve Miller Band Concert

Supracam’s technologies were used by James Cameron in the original Avatar (the movie) and are currently being deployed by the latest Avatar production team in New Zealand.