Engineers at NWU Develop Digital System to Assist Schools With Screening

Source: Youtube, NWU-North West University TjopTjop Health Screening App Video

Engineers from the North-West University (NWU) have developed a digital screening and data-recording platform to assist schools in the mandatory screening and data-recording process as learners return.

The directions given by the Department of Basic Education are that all schools are required to screen anyone entering the premises and record their attendance. This information then needs to be collated and must be available for authorities on their request. One of the concerns raised about this process is that many schools do not have the facilities to do so.

Prof Leenta Grobler from the Engineering Faculty at NWU says that the TjopTjop system allows for each person to have an identification kit reflecting individual results. Recording stations at each entry point will have a database, token reader, digital thermometer and a simple user interface that can be operated from an Android smartphone. Each school will receive an entry-level smartphone that already has the app installed.

“This kit will mean significant time savings for the education and work sectors, and may have a radical impact on lockdown screening protocols. Data capturing at Covid-19 health screening points will be done using QR codes as identification tokens and commercial off-the-shelf infrared digital thermometers, with the data being gathered by a standard entry-level smart cell phone,” Grobler says.

Each person will have an ID card that contains a QR code which encodes their ID number, name, class and an emergency contact number.

The cellphone application will have three sub-menus. The Identification menu will be able to identify the person at the entry point using the QR code, Temperature Capturing will record the thermometer results and Mask Verification will help indicate whether someone is wearing their own mask or if one had been given to them.

“Once the record has been verified, the identification number, without the name or contact details, is stored in a cloud-based database, along with the temperature data and mask status. In the event of a temperature that is outside the band considered to be within “normal” limits, a warning message will be displayed on the phone and it will be sent to the institution’s health and safety representative. The institution can view this data in real time on a web portal.”

The system will be trialed at Potchefstroom-based schools once schools re-open.