Etihad will begin testing technology that could identify early stages of coronavirus

Apr 8, 2020

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Etihad could potentially become the first airline to implement a new technology that would screen passengers for dangerous medical conditions, like early stages of COVID-19.

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The airline announced in a press release that it partnered with Elenium Automation — an Australian company — to trial the new self-service technology, which is able to monitor temperatures, heart rate and respiratory rate of any traveller using an airport touchpoint such as check-in kiosks or security points. If a passengers vitals indicate any potential illness, the self-service process would automatically stop and alert a qualified staff member on-site to further assess the passenger.

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This trial is set to begin at the airline’s hub airport, Abu Dhabi (AHU), from the end of April throughout May 2020 on volunteers and then outbound passengers once flights resume. 

“This technology is not designed or intended to diagnose medical conditions. It is an early warning indicator which will help to identify people with general symptoms, so that they can be further assessed by medical experts, potentially preventing the spread of some conditions to others preparing to board flights to multiple destinations”, Jorg Oppermann, Vice President Hub and Midfield Operations, Etihad Airways, commented.

If this technology proves to be a success, the airline will likely expand it to other hubs. It wouldn’t be surprising if other airlines joined in as well as coronavirus has heavily impacted the airline industry.

What are your thoughts on this new technology?

Featured photo by Ryan Patterson / The Points Guy.

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