Bahamian company claims its thermal technology can detect coronavirus

A Bahamian company has stated it has proprietary artificial intelligence facial recognition technology to help the government determine who is entering the country infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Chief Executive Officer of Bluestone Technologies John Bridgewater said while his company has not submitted a proposal to the government, he’s certain that the thermal camera technology his company can provide could help border control agents determine if travelers have high fevers and could be contagious.

“With that technology we have the ability to actually identify individuals as they come through our borders at the cruise port and through the airport. With that technology we would then cross-reference that with the relevant databases to identify individuals. So if they were flagged in America or if they were flagged in Europe and are coming to our borders, we would be able to identify those individuals so that they can be quarantined,” Bridgewater told Guardian Business yesterday.

“If powered by thermal cameras we can also detect the body temperature of those individuals. So right now, you know it starts at 100 degrees Fahrenheit in order for you to display symptoms of those that have COVID-19.”

The company, which developed a digital missing persons registry during Hurricane Dorian in 2019, has been waiting to see how the government intends to manage COVID-19 containment.

“To our knowledge the government is just now coming out with measures they want to take in order for The Bahamas to contain or prepare for an outbreak. So for us, we would have to work with those that are at the borders, the airport authority which would be NAD and those who would be in charge of the actual cruise ports,” Bridgewater said.

“Our technology is ready to go, the facial recognition and the identity verification is ready to go. The difficult part would be where we would have to work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to cross-reference the various databases with those who are coming in, so that we know that if an individual is coming in from a particular country and if that particular country had been put on the stop list, we can cross-reference that database to identify who they are.”

The government has an ongoing travel ban against all non-Bahamian residents who have visited China in the past 20 days, effective January 30.

The Ministry of Health’s response plan calls for the establishment of remote field hospitals for potential COVID-19 patients, which Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said would be able to accommodate up to 20 patients.

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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